US Navy video about pronouns sparks debate

Posted at 4:29 PM, Jun 22, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-22 21:02:27-04

NORFOLK, Va. - A video posted by the US Navy is sparking debate about the military and attitudes towards the LGBT community.

The video was recently posted to the Defense Visual Information Distribution Service, or DVIDS, which is a website where the military posts pictures and videos.

It shows two Naval engineers talking about using someone's preferred pronouns and what to do if a Sailor doesn't know someone's pronouns.

"Using the right pronouns is a really simple way to affirm someone's identity. It is a symbol of acceptance and respect," the video says.

Ever since the video came to light, it's led to a big debate over toughness in the military.

Former Navy SEAL Robert O'Neill, who was part of the team who killed Osama bin Laden, tweeted, "Your pronouns are shipmate/shipmates. There. I just saved the taxpayers millions by avoiding ridiculously useless training."

Still, some think it's a good idea. News 3 checked with the Hampton Roads LGBT Life Center.

“At the LGBT Life Center, we’re proud to see the Navy and other groups include these types of trainings for folks. We offer affirming, safe cultural competency trainings to corporate partners, the military, and other groups around the area," said Tyler Neal from the LGBT Life Center, adding using correct pronouns can make gender nonconforming people feel more comfortable.

News 3 also reached out to the Navy about the video and for a response to the criticism. A Sailor in the Navy Office of Information said they are working on getting News 3 a response.