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DES-SupportsMonicaAndTransfolk

For those who are wondering about the name change: SE has rolled out a new code of conduct regarding the treatment of transpeople on the SE network. I support the right of people to be referred to in the terms they choose. I think that users who are changing their profiles to things like "you can't just make up pronouns" are both being obnoxious and are missing the mathematical fun of getting to make up words. I have no problem complying with the rules as described in the current FAQ and I think others should not. I have trans colleagues and friends and I want them to be welcome on MO.

There is a user Monica Cellio, active on many sites, who has been labeled by SE as an transphobe and violator of these rules. As far as I can tell, this is blatantly unfair and libelous. Your best starting points are probably her posts at judaism and meta.SE. SE seems to be ignoring this issue and hoping it will blow over. This is nothing like the moral, internet savvy company I've seen for 10 years.

Many users on the SE sites have been changing their names to things like "X supports Monica". I hadn't wanted to do that because I worried that it would make a hostile environment for transpeople to see so much support for someone who is identified as their opponent, even though she isn't. But I also don't like to see innocent people smeared, and I have found a 30 character message I am comfortable with.

Dear SE -- doing the right thing can get harder with time, but it doesn't stop being the right thing. Monica deserves a public apology, and to have her name cleared. I still hope this may reach a peaceful resolution.


Professor of Mathematics at the University of Michigan. My research interests are in combinatorial algebraic geometry, particularly Schubert calculus, matroids and cluster algebras. I also enjoy thinking about number theory and computational mathematics.

Disclaimer: I have 10 years of answers on MO. I do not feel obliged to respond to every comment I get.

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