Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style/Biography

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Implementing deadname RFCs[edit]

First proposal[edit]

The RFCs above on deadnaming did not propose any specific text, and since no one has proposed any in response to the closing, I've drafted a rewrite for MOS:GENDERID below. Merging the results with the existing guideline was quite complicated, and it was difficult to find terminology that is both clear and unoffensive. In some places I interpolated to fill in some gaps. I am not certain I am using the right examples or enough examples, and overall I think this is probably a bit too long. Suggestions very welcome.

I have started a separate discussion at Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style/Film#Clarification on anachronistic and transgender names regarding potential updates for MOS:FILMCAST and MOS:TVCAST.

I also boldly added a "use new name if old name was determined to be offensive" paragraph to MOS:CHANGEDNAME since that seems to be the de facto practice now.

-- Beland (talk) 15:30, 11 February 2021 (UTC)


With transgender and non-binary gender people and similar cases, people should primarily be referred to with the gender (e.g. "man", "woman", "person"), pronouns (e.g. "him", "she", singular "they"), possessives (e.g. "his", "her", "theirs"), and gendered nouns (e.g. "chairman", "chairwoman", "chairperson"; but these are often disfavored - see MOS:GNL) they have most recently declared for themselves. People who have chosen names to match their gender identities should primarily be referred to by those names (most recent if changed more than once). Give precedence to recent reliable sources, even if a different name is more common in older sources.

Wikipedia sometimes mentions a name which the referent has asked not be used, known (sometimes pejoratively) as a deadname. These are minimized and mentioned but not used to avoid distracting readers who consider deadnaming offensive, and to avoid unnecessary harm to that person. Harm may range from mild distress to unemployment to death, potentially more serious if a name or pronoun reveals a previously private gender history. Wikipedia mentions these names when necessary to correctly inform readers about facts of public interest.

General guidelines:

  • By default, use a person's chosen name and pronouns as the primary name (in main body text, infobox, tables, etc.) for events in the present, future, and past. Do not mention the name the subject used in the past, except as noted below and possibly in their biography as noted at MOS:DEADNAME.
  • If a person prefers the name and pronouns used at the time when discussing the past, make that name primary and use those pronouns. If they happily accept either, use as primary whichever form minimizes reader confusion, based on which name is better known or better matches context.
  • If a living person was not notable under a former name, the former name must not be included in any Wikipedia article (including direct quotations), even if it can be documented with reliable primary sources or a small number of obscure secondary sources. Treat that name with a strong privacy interest separate from the primary name. (See WP:BLPPRIVACY.) Self-disclosure can obviate the privacy interest e.g. if the name is mentioned in a recent autobiography, but WP:INDISCRIMINATE also applies.
  • If a living person's transgender status is not public, they must not be outed by Wikipedia; an even stronger privacy interest applies, as does WP:OR.
  • If a living person must be mentioned under a former name, e.g. as the author of a cited work, connecting that name to the current name (either with an annotation or by substituting a chosen name) would also be a violation of privacy unless the connection is already public and documented.
  • If a gendered name or pronouns are confusing or surprising to readers because of a perceived contradiction with other context, explain in a brief note in prose or footnote (depending on length of explanation, relevance, space available, readability, etc.) Examples:
  • Avoid unnecessarily creating perceived contradictions. For example, instead of (Jane Doe fathered a child) simply write (e.g., Jane Doe became a parent). If it is important enough to mention, Jane Doe's biography would already explain her transgender status, and this phrasing would be jarring to some readers without adding information. In other articles where that is not relevant, it would simply create the need for an off-topic explanation.
  • When describing names, never imply any name is not a "real" name. Use specific terms like birth name, legal name, credited name, chosen name but not preferred name which some people perceive as offensively implying that gender identity is simply a preference.
  • Avoid stating or implying that someone has changed gender or e.g. was previously a man when they report or it is presumed that they have always had the same gender identity. When discussing such changes, refer to gender presentation (as is done in the article gender transitioning). For example, say Jane was then known as John instead of Jane was then John because "known as" uncontroversially refers to a specific aspect of presentation rather than the essence of a personality.

A notable non-primary name (typically a "deadname") is sometimes mentioned when relevant to past circumstances:

  • When the non-primary name is part of a mentioned work, note the non-primary name in a brief parenthetical (or footnote if space is limited or the non-primary name is not well known). This may be necessary to find the work, verify the citation, or find mentions of a person in primary or secondary sources. Mentioning e.g. transgender status is not necessary to explain a simple name mismatch (it would be undue weight) unless it is relevant to the context. Examples:
  • Noting the non-primary name is only necessary at first prose reference, for prominent references (like an infobox or the first in a series of consecutive table rows), to prevent confusion, and to explain a perceived contradiction. For example, the actor starring in Juno (film) can be referred to as Elliot Page (credited as Ellen Page) on first reference and Page (following MOS:SURNAME) or Elliot Page later in the prose.

In direct quotations, when dealing with notable non-primary names (typically a "deadname") or mismatched gendered words:

  • It is strongly preferred to replace the quotation with a paraphrase or reduce the quoted material to avoid non-primary names or mismatched pronouns. This is very strongly preferred to avoid altering the quote in multiple places or avoid creating the type of perceived contradiction explained above (which would need explaining). Paraphrasing is generally preferred in encyclopedic writing in general (see MOS:QUOTE).
    Instead of: Critic X said "Juno needs a fine [actor] to play its pregnant teenage star, and [Elliot] Page has shown [himself] to be the perfect [man] for the job."
    write: Critic X argued that portraying the pregnant teenage lead in the film Juno required fine acting talent, and that Page had proved perfect for the job.
  • Paraphrasing or reduction is required if the alteration of a direct quote would result in outing; for example said "[he] was the clear winner" draws attention to the possibility that the original quote may have been "she was the clear winner" but said he was the "clear winner" does not.
  • In the rare cases where paraphrasing is not possible, quotes should be edited to use words compatible with the primary name and matching gender identity.
    • This must be done in a way that indicates to readers how the quoted text differs from the original, and must follow the principle of minimal change at MOS:PMC.
    • MOS:PMC does not consider using a different way to refer to the same person to be an impermissible change in meaning, and encourages this if it clarifies the referent. (For example, the same person might be referred to as "Richard Feynman", "Dick", "him", "her father", "the other guy", or "my honeybuns" with varying levels of clarity.)
    • Compatibility with the primary name and matching gender identity is important in quotes so that readers unambiguously know that the person referred to in the quote is the same person referred to in the rest of the article.
    • The non-primary name and misgendered words should be substituted out even if the non-primary name is documented in the article, because the primary name is expected to be the most visible name in and across article text and titles, because that is how the person will be referred to in present-day conversation, and for the other reasons mentioned in the intro to this section.
    • If possible, remove words without adding any new words to minimize changes and to avoid the perceived contradiction of using a name before the referent was known by that name. This often works when the last name has not changed. For example, "[Page] was outstanding" instead of "[Elliot] Page was outstanding". To avoid ambiguity over what is missing, it is preferred to use brackets around the last name instead of using an ellipsis to indicate a missing first name.
    • Substitute pronouns and derived possessives using brackets.
    • Consider using an ungendered alternative if that would avoid a perceived contradiction. For example, instead of "[his] depiction of a pregnant teenage girl was excellent" write "[Page's] depiction of a pregnant teenage girl was excellent".
  • In extremely rare cases where a quotation cannot be paraphrased and the name or pronouns cannot be altered (for example where there is a pun on the name or an intentional deadnaming is being exhibited) note the chosen name in nearby prose or footnote. It may be necessary to explain if the use of the name was intended to be offensive, or to represent a particular point of view, or that it was not considered offensive because that was the name the subject was known by at the time, or whatever the reason was for leaving it unaltered.

Discussion of first proposal[edit]

Discuss! -- Beland (talk) 15:30, 11 February 2021 (UTC)

Well, I have a big picture question. MOS:DEADNAME has belonged to MOS:NAME. As the section heading for NAME states, Most of the examples throughout this section illustrate usage in the title sentence, and this has been used by editors as a reason to dismiss the relevance of DEADNAME outside the lead.
Now that the consensus on DEADNAME has more to say about mainspace content outside the title sentence or lead section, should it still be confined to MOS:NAME, or be distributed in some way? Should the framing text in NAME be amended to draw more attention to its implications beyond the title sentence (since it is not only DEADNAME that has such implications)? Should DEADNAME be moved up a level in the hierarchy? At the very least, I think some cross-references could be added elsewhere in the MOS where the guidance that is being added to DEADNAME is most likely to be relevant.
In any case, I would not recommend moving all of this to GENDERID; at the very least, very substantial cross-references are currently required in NAME (where DEADNAME currently resides), but I am not sure that the main home for the name-related text shouldn't remain at DEADNAME while the pronoun text stays at GENDERID. Newimpartial (talk) 15:51, 11 February 2021 (UTC)
Is this for GENDERID or DEADNAME? Shouldn't it stay here?
Regarding Noting the non-primary name is only necessary at first prose reference and prominent references (like an infobox or the first in a series of consecutive table rows)., I prefer less restrictive wording like that used in your closure: use editorial judgment to maintain clarity and add more parentheticals or footnotes if needed. Otherwise we'll get people pushing to have the footnote one time and that's it, regardless of the later text. It also doesn't contradict the other part where it says to mention the name if there is a perceived contradiction (like having been cast based on the old presentation or receiving an award under it).
Lastly, the new text is not at all clear about the direction for what to do in the subject's own article (possibly because this is meant for GENDERID, but I think DEADNAME makes more sense as a location and that is where we are now). Typically we mention a notable deadname in the lead sentence, in bold and in parenthesis (footnote has never been done there). That was not part of the RfC. Crossroads -talk- 21:18, 11 February 2021 (UTC)
To underline an instance where I agree with Crossroads (!), it should be clear in the new guidelines that the typical approach in the subject's own article would never to present a notable deadname in a footnote. If there is a redirect from the deadname, for example, that would normally call for the bold and parenthetical treatment Crossroads describes. Newimpartial (talk) 21:24, 11 February 2021 (UTC)
(edit conflict) Actually, maybe GENDERID should be moved here and both that and DEADNAME be made into a new top-level section here called "Gender identity". CHANGEDNAME and MOS could then have hatnotes pointing to it. I think having all the transgender-related direction in one place makes much more sense and it's all biography-related. And it's grown so large that it's odd to stuff it under those smaller sections. Crossroads -talk- 21:27, 11 February 2021 (UTC)
Well, this text doesn't cover the intro sentences in biographies because it's an update to MOS:GENDERID; the intro sentences are covered under MOS:CHANGEDNAME, and that text I'm proposing to remain unchanged. I agree that if the two halves of gender-related MOS content are merged together, they don't really fit in the "Names" section anymore. The part that talks about deadnames and the intro sentence would have to be cross-referenced from MOS:CHANGEDNAME since it's an exception to that guideline. In the megamerge scenario, we'd probably want to create a parallel section like there is for Sexuality. But I see that the Sexuality section is actually just a pointer to MOS:IDENTITY, which (after this expansion) would be almost entirely filled with MOS:GENDERID. So that leads me to think my original proposal is probably still the best way to handle this, but I don't have strong feelings and I'm open to suggestions.
As for guidance on how many notes to add, enough RFC participants seemed to be endorsing the idea that deadnaming should be minimized to the greatest degree possible because it is inherently harmful or offensive or disrespectful. Some wanted to ban it entirely, but there was not consensus to go that far. But neither was there consensus to go as far in the opposite direction, where we would simply label every single mention of a chosen name with the deadname footnote or something. I'm a bit concerned that "editorial judgement" or "if needed" might allow "I think it's always needed" to be used as a good reason. And part of the point of these RFCs was to reduce edit wars, so I'm thinking maybe there should be a list of concrete reasons to add more than one annotation, and if it turns out we missed one, that can always get added to the MOS later if there's consensus it is in fact a good reason. I hope that in most cases people will simply accept each others' editorial judgement and not fight about it so we don't have to have lots of very narrow rules, but hey. Anyway, I changed the wording there to at first prose reference, for prominent references (like an infobox or the first in a series of consecutive table rows), to prevent confusion, and to explain a perceived contradiction. Does that cover the cases you were thinking about? -- Beland (talk) 03:09, 12 February 2021 (UTC)
It does, and I appreciate that, but let's see what others say. I'm leery of over-restricting this sort of thing because there are always edge cases and so on. Thanks for taking on this effort by the way. As for where to put it, I've switched totally to the idea that a gender identity section here is best. That it's longer than the sexuality one is fine I think. And it would be pointed to liberally as needed from elsewhere. Crossroads -talk- 04:55, 12 February 2021 (UTC)
I have no objection merging the entirety of MOS:IDENTITY into Wikipedia:Manual of Style/Biography, but it'll be a bit complicated to deal with overlapping paragraphs and make sure all the pointers are properly updated. Since there seems to be no remaining objections to the proposed text and since we need it to go live ASAP to prevent disputes, I've posted it to MOS:GENDERID. Folks who have stronger feelings and more time than I are invited to rearrange across MOS pages as they see fit. -- Beland (talk) 17:57, 13 February 2021 (UTC)
Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style #‎Gender identity.--Moxy 🍁 18:41, 13 February 2021 (UTC)
I restored the text to this talk page that was being commented on. I see no reason to remove it from here and it makes the ensuing conversation confusing. What's more, there's probably going to be more discussion now and it should all be in one place - here. Crossroads -talk- 19:24, 13 February 2021 (UTC)

Comment - can I just say that, since this appears to be a NIMBY scenario, it seems to me that it will not be possible to add any necessary text to the main MOS page without also having a discussion there? If there is a scenario where text at the other location is seamlessly changed based on a discussion here I would love for that to happen, but that doesn't seem likely. Newimpartial (talk) 20:13, 13 February 2021 (UTC)

Since more editors appear to favor the text to be on the Biography subpage, I have posted it to Wikipedia:Manual of Style/Biography#Gender identity and am updating pointers and the main MOS page. (I had moved the text rather than copying it so there weren't multiple versions kicking around and drifting apart, but since that seemed to confuse folks this time I copied it. Feel free to improve the live version.) -- Beland (talk) 03:25, 14 February 2021 (UTC)
That's done, I think the only open question left is whether to merge the "Gender identity and naming in the lead" subsection out of "Names" and into the main "Gender identity" section. That would be fine with me as long as a pointer is left behind to indicate that an exception is being made. It's also fine with me to leave things split as they are, because they are pointed correctly at each other and there's also an argument to be made for keeping all the "how to write names in the lead" content together. And though I would have expected a slew of flaming comments by now if anything were radically askew, more thoughts on tweaking the text itself are certainly welcome; the MOS is a living document and is never really finished. (Yay!?) -- Beland (talk) 03:49, 14 February 2021 (UTC)
  • Oppose and then some. This is at least 10x too long to even consider putting into guideline language. See MOS:BLOAT. MoS is already much, much too long. Worse, on a topic like this, every single word of every clause is going to cause room for dispute, so any material that pertains to this should say no more than it absolutely must, and cannot say any more than we have absolute concrete consensus for. I don't see anything like consensus for a large amount of what you're trying to shoehorn into this. It looks to me like you're trying to use some vague but quite narrow consensus leanings as an excuse to try to rework MoS into an extensions of GLAAD language-reform advocacy materials. (I.e., you are mistaking closers' every extended personal ruminations for the consensus; the consensus is actually what emerges from the discussion between all the participating editors. A closer's "job" is to summarize it, but if the summary does this poorly or goes far beyond it, that doesn't magically change the actual consensus.  — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  05:01, 14 February 2021 (UTC); clarified: 06:40, 14 February 2021 (UTC)
    I'm a bit confused by your comment, SMcCandlish. Are you objecting to the closures above, or only to the proposed implementation language? Because it looks to me like the proposed language follows quite closely from the closures. Newimpartial (talk) 05:04, 14 February 2021 (UTC)
    Then you're not reading them very closely. There's no point in line-by-lining this stuff until it's much, much, much shorter. Some of us have lives. Just because the closer wants to ramble and ramble and opine and opine does not mean a) we are obligated to try to work every element of the closer's viewpoint into the a guideline, or b) that every element of that text-wall even accurately reflects or even closely relates to actual community consensus as determined by the discussion. I get the feeling that some people here don't really understand what a guideline is and what purpose it serves, nor how consensus and its assessment by closers work. Discussion closers do not dictate WP:P&G wording. Otherwise everyone would be in a mad rush to close discussions and WP:SUPERVOTE in them to force language into P&G pages. That's just not how it works.  — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  05:20, 14 February 2021 (UTC)
    I don't think either I or the closer in question is confused about the role of discussion closers or what the MOS is for. But if there were actual questions about the relevance or accuracy of the close, there are processes to raise those questions - which to date nobody has engaged. Newimpartial (talk) 05:30, 14 February 2021 (UTC)
    Well, personally, I didn't want to draft the text that implemented these RFCs, but there were only crickets after the closures happened, and it would be quite a waste of lots of editors' time to drop these RFCs on the floor. Both you and the folks at GLAAD should definitely be able to read a Wikipedia article that follows the MOS and find nothing objectionable. I'm happy to try to help modify the draft to do that if it's not currently, but it's difficult to do so without a more specific complaint or complaints. -- Beland (talk) 06:33, 14 February 2021 (UTC)
  • For starters, it's far too long and needs a good copyedit. Tony (talk) 05:09, 14 February 2021 (UTC)
    I agree length is an issue; I feel a bit stuck in that RFC participants were concerned that too much left undecided would result in edit wars. Tony1 and SMcCandlish, if you have any general guidance on what to trim, that would help, and specific suggestions even moreso. -- Beland (talk) 06:33, 14 February 2021 (UTC)
  • I have to oppose as written. Something I kept thinking and wondered if anyone else would notice is that this proposal and the closure covers far more material than was widely commented on at the RfC. One or two participants suggesting something which is otherwise ignored is not a consensus. Crossroads -talk- 16:55, 14 February 2021 (UTC)
  • While I like a lot of the ideas, I must Oppose per SMcCandlish - this is far too long. Elliot321 (talk | contribs) 03:33, 16 February 2021 (UTC)


I suggest imposing some order on this discussion because at present it's confusing—so much so that it's worth a quick look at Webster's: confuse transitive verb ... 2 b : to make unclear in mind or purpose : mislead, bewilder, perplex : throw off ...."[1] I suspect that experienced editors who have heretofore not been involved in these discussions would have some valuable insights—if we don't scare them off.

MOS/Biography#Gender identity directs readers to the present talk page with hyperlinked text: "This section is the subject of a current discussion." But then readers land on a section titled, "Implementing deadname RFCs". I almost left because I had no idea what all that meant, but this topic (gender identity) seemed important so I persevered, going back and forth, reading various discussions and MOS pages, until I began to understand the gist (I think).

I suggest:

  • Consolidate onto one talk page all discussions about the proposed gender identity text that Beland posted (above)—the green shaded block of text that begins: "With transgender and non-binary gender people and similar cases ...."
  • Create separate sections for discussing (a) the gender identity text, and (b) placement, i.e., on which Manual of Style section and page the gender identity text should appear.
  • Explain, preferably in pithy prose (or via hyperlinked text, or an endnote) terminology unfamiliar to most people, e.g., "deadname", "subpage", "closures", "implementation", etc.

FWIW, I approached Beland's text with skepticism because it seemed overly detailed and dense. However, I read it slowly and came away with a richer, more nuanced understanding of challenges facing trans, intersex, and non-binary folks, and with an enhanced appreciation for the difference language makes not only to them, but ultimately for all of us. Mark D Worthen PsyD (talk) [he/his/him] 07:33, 14 February 2021 (UTC)


  1. ^ Webster's Third New International Dictionary of the English Language, Unabridged, ed. Philip B. Gove (Springfield, MA: G. & C. Merriam, 1961, rev. 1993, periodically updated as Merriam-Webster Unabridged), s.v. "confuse".

Alternative proposal[edit]

The entire pair of closes can be compressed, for guideline purposes, into something like the following – keeping in mind how it interrelates with other guidelines and policies and previous consensus discussion, and dependencies between the two interrelated RfCs (e.g. findings in the second which actually pertain to the first):

The name most recently chosen by a transgender or non-binary person should be used as their primary name on Wikipedia (in the main text, a table, a list, an infobox, etc.), in preference to a previous credited or legal name no longer used by the subject (a "deadname"), unless the latter remains their the most common name. When both are used on Wikipedia, include at first occurrence the current name when the old name is used contextually, e.g. Bruce (now Caitlyn) Jenner; likewise, include the old one when contextually important in material otherwise using the new name, e.g. Caitlyn (then Bruce) Jenner. How to phrase such a correspondence and how to format it (parenthetical, footnote, etc.), is left to editorial discretion at an article.

Not every biography, much less mention, of such a subject should note their former name(s). Wikipedia respects living persons' privacy; only such a subject's chosen name should be used when the prior name pre-dates their notability and is not routinely reported in reliable sources, when the person is not notable (e.g., just mentioned in an article on another subject), or when describing events that post-date the name change. Outing a person as transgender or non-binary is not permitted, even if an isolated or weak sourcing makes such a claim; Wikipedia waits for it to be reported widely in independent, reliable sources, or in a self-declaration by the subject which can be verified as genuine.

Do not change directly quoted material to alter or remove a person's former name or pronouns, without using square brackets, e.g. [Caitlyn] Jenner, or ellipsis, e.g. ... Jenner. Paraphrasing is preferred if the quotation would require multiple such changes, though there may be other options (explanatory introduction phrase, footnote, etc.), depending on the context. In source citations, do not replace or remove names of authors, or references to old names in titles of published works.

Every other point in the text-wall RfC closes is either editorializing by the closer (e.g. explaining their reasoning, comparing support levels, relating the RfC discussion to other situations, expressing personal opinion, etc.), or is already covered by other WP:P&G material, or is repetitive, or is better served by injecting examples if we feel more of them are necessary. E.g., the paraphrasing-about-Juno example might be worth keeping.

I'm proposing the way, way, way shorter version here as the general shape of the material to use, in contrast to the multiple screenfuls proposed above. Specific copyediting may follow (though I've already done a lot, e.g. to replace colloquial language like "OK", to replace policy-incorrect usage of the word "notable", etc.). Maybe someone thinks I missed a crucial point. It could be reformatted to use bullets, but this is less helpful that people seems to think it is, except when presenting examples. And, really, if this just turns into another interminable argument, we can just RfC it again. It's common for a "philosophical" RfC to result in a followup RfC on concrete language to implement.

The "and is not routinely reported in reliable sources" material (marked in grey for purposes of this discussion) is worth noting. It has long been the operational consensus, and I do not see any clear indication that the RfC changed this consensus, nor did the closers address the question, so the default is that this status quo stands: If RS material about a subject routinely includes their birth name, then WP will also do so. Aside from royalty and maybe someone like Shiloh Jolie-Pitt, there is no one notable at birth, so without this clause it would be misunderstood as blanket license to delete the old names of virtually all living, notable TG/NB people other those those who have only recently changed names, and that is clearly not what the consensus is. Another important thing is not changing names in citations (both for BLPPRIV/OUTING reasons with regard to non-notable scholars, and because the purpose of citations is identifying and finding works as-published, which would be thwarted by falsifying their details). I devoted considerable attention to this in the RfCs, and the point was not refuted, but the closers skipped it. (I've also marked that in grey.)

Follow-up matter: The closer also noted: "MOS:TVCAST and MOS:FILMCAST appear to allow anachronistic names; if that is a contradiction with MOS:CHANGEDNAME, that should be resolved with clarity. If anachronistic names are not intended for inclusion, perhaps MOS:CHANGEDNAME should be cross-referenced." Cleaning up any potential conflict between these guidelines will necessarily have to come after settling on what to do with this main material.
 — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  06:40, 14 February 2021 (UTC)

  • Support, although I'd tweak to specify what "when contextually important" would generally mean because some people will claim it's never contextually important and a man playing a pregnant teenage girl is not confusing at all. I agree with you that the longer proposal above was too long and that not everything in it clearly had consensus; some of the material in it and in the closure was just commented on by one or two people, not being clearly the consensus of a group. People might have disagreed with those comments but didn't want to create interminable side-chains of discussion. Crossroads -talk- 16:52, 14 February 2021 (UTC)
    • I feel like I have to point out the equivocation in the above comment: the fact that a man playing a pregnant teenage girl may be confusing doesn't imply that the actor's former name is "contextually important"; the confusion can be cleared up with a note that the actor is transgender and was presenting as female at the time, without mentioning the name he used at the time. AJD (talk) 18:45, 14 February 2021 (UTC)
      • And I would point out that while the actor in question, Elliot Page, has announced a trans identity and declared he/they pronouns, they have not to date announced an identity as a man as far as I know. If people are going to find things confusing - as they undoubtedly will - it seems encumbent on editors to be as accurate as possible when they allude to actual cases (and in this case to BLPs). Newimpartial (talk) 18:59, 14 February 2021 (UTC)
  • My call... we are going to have to have at least some of those “side-chains” of discussion anyway... so I say stick it in, and then hold further discussions to walk back anything that doesn’t have consensus. Blueboar (talk) 17:17, 14 February 2021 (UTC)
  • Regarding the text in gray: what about when the authors themselves have changed the metadata after adopting a new name? For example, all of the publications on Autumn Kent's Google Scholar profile use "A. Kent" rather than her deadname. I'd find it hard to argue that bracketing would be falsification in that case (and the remainder of the metadata, including the DOI, would resolve any confusion). Similarly, all of the science writer Riley Black's posts on the Smithsonian website use her chosen name, even those originally posted under her deadname. In that case, the URL is the pointer, and changing the author fields in a {{cite web}} would make it less confusing for the reader. As this wasn't explicitly addressed in the close, I'm hesitant to say there's a consensus about what to do. Surely we ought to at least allow ourselves the option of "[chosen name] (writing as [deadname])" or the like (which a trans writer suggested to me when that circumstance came up). XOR'easter (talk) 19:11, 14 February 2021 (UTC)
  • Oppose as written. One thing that leaps out at me is the very weak wording which I suspect, if not changed, will be interpreted to kneecap MOS:DEADNAME. Specifically, the direction to use people's preferred names only when the prior name pre-dates their notability and is not routinely reported in reliable sources, and not to do so if [the deadname] remains their the most common name [sic]. Perhaps there's something I'm missing here, given that nobody else has brought this up, but these two excerpts seem to directly violate DEADNAME: If such a subject was not notable under their former name, it usually should not be included in that or any other article, even if some reliable sourcing exists for it. Treat the pre-notability name as a privacy interest separate from (and often greater than) the person's current name. The proposed wording would tell us to deadname subjects unless three conditions are met:
1. Their deadname predates their notability
2. Their deadname is not "routinely reported" in RS's
3. Their chosen name is now their WP:COMMONNAME
The difference here is significant. First of all, I don't know where this WP:COMMONNAME thing came from. Is there an RfC that I missed that decided this? Because that seems to go against DEADNAME, and if added to MOS I bet it wouldn't be long until someone proposes changing the article title for Elliot Page back to his deadname (a "majority of RS's" argument). Second: whether someone is WP:NOTABLE under a name is very clearly defined. Whether a name is routinely reported in RS's is very much open to interpretation. I've discussed this very issue before (see the Nicole Maines RfC), but it's an important distinction. As written, this would create an inconsistency in direction to editors which would only make worse the disrespect, conflict, and civil POV pushing which is all-too-present in this content area. Srey Srostalk 20:52, 14 February 2021 (UTC)
  • Oppose - this alternative proposal contains at least three errors or omissions in its present form. For example, the first point offers the exception, unless the latter remains their the most common name, but this is ambiguous. Both the status quo (pre-RfC) version of MOS:DEADNAME and the relevant provisions of MOS:COMMONNAME specify that only sources published since the chosen name was announced are to be considered in determining what their most common name is considered to be. This principle was not altered by the RfC and should therefore not be obscured by any new guideline text.
    • Second, the proposed text is also (bizarrely) unclear that the principle that WP prefers the current, chosen name applies not only to the primary about a BLP subject but to all articles where that BLP subject is mentioned. This is not communicated effectively by in the main text, a table, a list, an infobox, etc., which could all easily be misconstrued as applying only to the main biographical article on a subject. I say that this is "bizarre", because the first of the two recently closed RfCs was concerned exclusively with mentions in articles other than a trans peeson's primary BLP.
    • Finally, the added text in grey concerning birth names, and is not routinely reported in reliable sources, is an innovation that was not discussed in the recent RfCs and which therefore should not be added here without endorsement from the community, such as having its own RfC. For quite some time, the prevailing consensus in various discussions has been that the BLPPRIV interest in names under which a person was not notable extends also to cases where the deadname has been widely published (though not used as the primary name for the BLP subject) since the name change. Laverne Cox may have been one of the earlier cases where this principle was discerned, and Nicole Maines is a more recent instance. The "alternative proposal" could even be used to justify the insertion of non-notable birth names in instances where the current BLPs include former professional names, like Elliot Page, but recognise a BLPPRIV interest in excluding the birth name. Altogether, I do not think the proposal here reflects even the pre-RfC consensus on these issues, much less the spirit of the recent RfCs and their closes, so this doesn't seem like a promising direction for the development of these guidelines. When the best argument in favor of a proposal is the reputation of the editor proposing it, it probably isn't a good proposal, and that seems to be the case here. Newimpartial (talk) 22:32, 14 February 2021 (UTC)
  • Oppose without changes - this is a helpful starting point for discussion with regard to length and content. In several places it runs counter to recent consensus and inappropriately modifies or deletes parts of the existing policy, but those could be fixed. It omits several points I think we need to at least try to affirm compromise language for in order to avoid wasting all the input we just collected.
    • I'm assuming this is meant to replace what is currently at MOS:GENDERID? If so, it's actually deleting a bunch of assertions that the two recent RFCs were not intended to undo, based on the questions posed and RFC participants explicitly saying so. This includes guidance on pronouns and gendered terms, and avoidance of apparent contradictions like women becoming fathers.
    • This changes the existing preference for a chosen name even if that's not the common name when looking across all sources; if anything, there was consensus for that in the recent RFCs, not against it.
    • Based on current practice in articles and the general principles being affirmed here, it seems uncontroversial to use the latest version of the chosen name if it has been amended. We can save ourselves article disputes and another RFC after the one that affirms this language if we clarify that point in this proposal.
    • It could be made shorter by dropping the sentence "Do not change directly quoted material to alter or remove a person's former name or pronouns, without using square brackets, e.g. [Caitlyn] Jenner, or ellipsis, e.g. ... Jenner." The option of changing without brackets or ellipses is already clearly prohibited by MOS:PMC, and the only reason it's mentioned in the closing is that the RFC proposer gave it as an option. If it hadn't been listed, I doubt anyone would have brought it up as a viable alternative.
    • It doesn't address the case where someone's preference is to use a past name when referring to the past, for which there was support and no objections, and I see no reason why anyone would object to that.
    • Using the deadname when "contextually important" is not a bad starting point, but the whole point of one of the RFCs was to clarify if this should be applied to a person's previously published works. Nearly everyone seems to be OK with noting both names in this case (disagreeing 2:1 which should go first), and nearly everyone is not OK with completely dropping one of the names (disagreeing 2:1 on which one). The most concise way to fix this would be to add the two cases as a non-exhaustive list of examples, like "contextually important (e.g. when readers would be confused or surprised or when the former name is credited)". "Confused or surprised" already has demonstrated consensus by being in the existing MOS:GENDERID and there was no consensus to remove that in these RFCs (that question was not even being asked). Using both names "when the former name is credited" and doing so respectfully seems like the only compromise everyone is going to be happy with. If we don't give folks from both factions the opportunity to affirm that or something like it as a reasonable compromise given the opposing preferences, we'll have wasted an RFC. It will also mean that disputes on article pages will simply continue as different editors interpret "important" very differently.
    • There was 2:1 preference for the chosen name to be the primary even in the context of previously published works. That threshold is generally considered to indicate consensus, and the supermajority position is supported by a rational policy justification. This proposed guideline actually says the opposite; the supermajority apparently considers "Bruce (now Caitlyn) Jenner" unacceptable.
    • Some (but definitely not all) folks would consider phrasing like "X (then Y)" to be inaccurate, imprecise, or disrespectful. Like, we all know what is meant but it's just not a careful way to say it, and read a certain way it implies a non-neutral philosophical stance on the essence of gender. I don't think anyone would object to terse replacements like "X (competing as Y)", so I don't see an upside in affirming objectionable examples.
    • When all three options are equally comprehensible, I think the reality is that some editors strongly object to leaving deadnames unaltered, some editors strongly object to inserting chosen names anachronistically, and some editors explicitly prefer paraphrasing which pretty much no one from the other two factions objects to. Paraphrasing seems like the only reasonable compromise in most cases, not merely the cases where it is very strongly preferred (like multiple alterations) which are mentioned. I think we should attempt to affirm language to that effect, or else we'll have pretty much wasted the deadnames-in-quotes RFC.
    • I don't think there is consensus for examples like "[Caitlyn] Jenner" in direct quotes, though many editors who are against deadnaming would be perfectly happy with this. Such an example stretches MOS:PMC and does not accommodate the objection many RFC participants had against anachronistic naming and "putting words" in the mouths of people. This objection is rational to the degree that it's jarring to some and may give readers a historically inaccurate impression as something the quoted person might have said but didn't, even though readers can in fact tell this is not what the quoted person actually said. My suggested compromise is "[Jenner]" which seemed popular and unlikely to generate substantial rational opposition. If we want to leave more editorial discretion, we don't have to affirm that exact solution in the policy update language, but I do think we should affirm the general principle of "removing not adding" when possible, or else editors are going to have arguments on article talk pages and the MOS policy is going to be challenged again.
    -- Beland (talk) 01:42, 15 February 2021 (UTC)
    A lot of that's good points. I or someone else can try integrating them into a third draft, but I have other stuff on my plate today. I actually have to take my presently unvaccinated life into my own hands and leave the house. [shudder]  — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  21:35, 15 February 2021 (UTC)
  • FTR I broadly agree with Beland (i.e. I must oppose this proposal as written, for not reflecting the RFCs well enough). I may try to draft a proposal myself later. (It is too bad we are all so busy!) -sche (talk) 00:04, 16 February 2021 (UTC)

Third proposal[edit]

OK, here's another version trimming everything that can't be discussed separately and all but the most vital policy justifications. I revived [sic] because that's in the existing policy and maybe I shouldn't have dropped it. -- Beland (talk) 08:10, 16 February 2021 (UTC)


Transgender, non-binary, and other people in similar circumstances should be referred to (in prose, lists, tables, etc.) with the most recent names chosen for themselves, and chosen pronouns and other matching gendered words. Give precedence to recent reliable sources, even if a different name is more common in older sources.

This also applies to past events, unless in that context the subject prefers the name they were known by at the time. If it does not match, note the name as credited in a published work or award in a very brief parenthetical or footnote. This does not need to be repeated on every mention, but should be noted on first and prominent mentions (like an infobox or first table row) or to avoid confusion.

Write: Z Brewer (writing as Heather Brewer) is the author of Eighth Grade Bites.
and not: Bruce Jenner (now known as Caitlyn Jenner)

Briefly explain perceived contradictions, like a masculine-gendered name in a Best Actress category, a transgender pregnancy, or cross-gender casting, in prose or footnote. Avoid unnecessarily creating perceived contradictions. For example, instead of Jane Doe fathered a child simply write Jane Doe became a parent.

If a living person was not notable under a former name, for privacy reasons and to avoid harm, that name usually should not be included in any Wikipedia article (including direct quotations), even if it can be reliably documented. This also applies in reverse when citing a published work, if connecting the credited name to a current name would be a privacy violation.

Living people must not be outed as transgender or non-binary by Wikipedia, whether directly or implicitly by annotating alterations to direct quotations.

When a direct quotation does not match a more recently declared gender identity or chosen name:

  • Use paraphrasing to reduce or eliminate the quoted portion to avoid the mismatched words, especially if there are multiple sections or alteration would create a perceived contradiction.
    Instead of: Critic X said "Juno needs a fine [actor] to play its pregnant teenage star, and [Elliot] Page has shown [himself] to be the perfect [man] for the job."
    write: Critic X argued that portraying the pregnant teenage lead in the film Juno required fine acting talent, and that Page had proved perfect for the job.
  • If paraphrasing cannot be used, edit the quote to avoid mismatching the appropriate name and gender identity following the principle of minimal change. Avoid anachronistic names. For example "phone voters agreed [Skaalum] crushed it" is preferred to "phone voters agreed [Noah] Skaalum crushed it".
  • Use an ungendered reference if that would avoid a perceived contradiction. For example, instead of "[his] depiction of a pregnant teenage girl was excellent" write "[Page's] depiction of a pregnant teenage girl was excellent".
  • Add a note clarifying who is being referred to if a quote does not match the context and cannot be repaired with the above techniques.
  • If a quote cannot be paraphrased or edited (for example where there is a pun on the name or an intentional deadnaming is being documented) use [sic] and make sure the chosen name is noted in nearby prose or a footnote.
I agree with this general direction but have a number of wordsmithing-type suggestions. Would it be acceptable to amend the proposed directly, or are detailed suggestions to be posted in the form of replies? Newimpartial (talk) 14:05, 16 February 2021 (UTC)
Please don't edit it directly, that will confuse everybody as to who proposed what. Crossroads -talk- 20:35, 16 February 2021 (UTC)
As noted below by SMcCandlish, the Jenner example goes beyond the RfC. Crossroads -talk- 21:44, 22 February 2021 (UTC)
Couple brief suggestions: (1) The Brewer/Jenner example set needs words to clarify one is good and one is bad, both for verbal clarity and because of color-blindness. (2) Change "Consider using" in Consider using an ungendered reference if that would avoid a perceived contradiction to the more direct "Use". This is to match the more direct instruction above and actual practice. Crossroads -talk- 20:44, 16 February 2021 (UTC)
Understanding there will be some fine-tuning, such as Crossroads' spot-on suggestions, I like it. Thank you for all your hard work Beland. Mark D Worthen PsyD (talk) [he/his/him] 22:10, 16 February 2021 (UTC)
Updated; thanks for spotting those improvements, Crossroads! -- Beland (talk) 18:19, 17 February 2021 (UTC)
I like most of this, and it does a good job of making existing guidance more concise, but I see two substantive issues. Also, I have one copyediting suggestion: "Transgender, non-binary, and other people...", since "non-binary" (instead of "non-binary gender) is the usual adjective to parallel "transgender" and "other" in modifying "people".
  • Now, substantive question 1: is the addition of "If a living person was not notable under and does not publicly discuss a former name" (emphasis mine) supported by either RFC? I don't see "publicly discuss" in the text or !votes of either. It will be used to argue that if a trans person has ever acknowledged a former name, then the exclusion no longer applies and it must be in the article; this has already been argued re articles like Jazz Jennings and Nicole Maines. I am inclined to think it's wiser to retain the existing guideline, which is just "if [...] a subject was not notable under their former name", so I oppose introduction of the underlined clause.
  • Substantive question 2: is it wise to add "Wikipedia does not rely on isolated or weak sourcing for such information, but waits for wide reporting by reliable sources or a verified self-declaration" to the Manual of Style instead of letting existing polices on reliable sourcing and verification continue to handle this? I am concerned that in the case of people who meet WP:GNG through having been notable decades ago but are no longer popular / reported on, the sentence will be used to argue that one or two RS reporting that someone came out as trans are only "isolated" reports, and there'll be arguing over whether a non-SELFPUB source saying someone said "I'm a trans man" is a "verified self-declaration". I think we already handle situations where it's not clear a RS understood something correctly, or at least, I don't think that the proposed sentence will solve more problems than it will create, since the one case that comes to mind where RS seem(ed) to have possibly misunderstood something was a case where there was "wide reporting" on a "verified self-declaration" by Eddie Izzard about pronouns.
-sche (talk) 22:41, 17 February 2021 (UTC)
Thanks for your thoughtful response; short answer is, your suggestions make sense to me. Long answer:
I've changed "non-binary" above as suggested.
I have also removed "and does not publicly discuss" from the above, after considering your objection. There were some comments and no objections that if people preferred to be called by the name they were known by at the time when discussing the past, Wikipedia should do that. The general suppression of non-notable birth names was generally justified in the discussion by WP:BLPPRIVACY. If someone puts their birth name in their autobiography, or mentions it in TV interviews, then I think it's obvious that person no longer has a privacy interest in suppressing that name, so there would no longer be a WP:BLPPRIVACY justification. Those are the sorts of cases I was trying to cover with that exception, to avoid Wikipedia forcing itself to disregard the expressed preferences of a living person. But there's actually other language clarifying that exception, so this is probably unnecessary. Other discussion did mention WP:INDISCRIMINATE as another possible justification for not including names a person was known by when they were not notable, and one opinion was that there should be a separate RFC on this question. It seems obvious to me that Jazz Jennings and family still prefer that their family name be kept private, and that WP:BLPRIVACY applies there. There was an RFC specifically on Talk:Nicole Maines (thanks for the pointer to that!) in which an authorized biography and TV interviews were cited as a reason why there was no longer a privacy interest in that person's birth name. That RFC actually decided the book and TV interviews didn't make the name worthy of inclusion, partly relying on the interpretation of the existing MOS:DEADNAME. Even though it seems lots of readers are curious to know about trans people's birth names, I take that RFC as evidence that mere reader interest isn't seen as outweighing the need to avoid unnecessary deadnaming and that non-notable names are seen as trivial. Removing the phrase you objected to does a better job of keeping the previous consensus intact, and there's definitely not a strong consensus to change it since it was not a core issue of either recent RFC.
I also removed "Wikipedia does not rely on isolated or weak sourcing for such information, but waits for wide reporting by reliable sources or a verified self-declaration". Editors will argue about when specific cases have crossed the threshold between "outing" and "reporting well-known facts" whether this is in there or not. If you think there might be unintended consequences to the interpretation of existing policy, better to not put this in at all. These RFCs did not address this issue head-on, and I think the important RFC comments that were made about the danger of outing by annotating mentions of people are already well covered by the remaining language.
If we don't have a very specific rules for how to interpret pretty broad language, I think it would be helpful to give editors some examples in the style of common-law court decisions. Nicole Maines is probably a good borderline example with a solid RFC that would be good to include near the Laverne Cox example. Is Eddie Izzard a good example for how to verify self-declared pronouns? -- Beland (talk) 01:25, 19 February 2021 (UTC)
If it's of interest/use to anyone else, I took the current text of MOS:GENDERID and MOS:DEADNAME, separated each piece of guidance into a different cell in a table a table (updated), did likewise for the proposal above, and paired cells that cover the same things, to make it easier to see differences. -sche (talk) 23:14, 17 February 2021 (UTC)
I did make use of that; thanks! This is indeed a rather complicated change. -- Beland (talk) 01:25, 19 February 2021 (UTC)
  • Support: looks to me like a good summary of current community opinion. Reasonable length. We need something in there soon even if it's something that can be improved and made more precise over time. — Bilorv (talk) 20:00, 21 February 2021 (UTC)
  • Still needs work, and took some steps backward.
    • The closer's deep involvement in the drafting of this material (including to re-insert ideas from the closes' own ruminations that are not actual consensus-discussion results) demonstrates that the closes are (or have become) WP:SUPERVOTING. That's not a "fatal" problem, it just means we basically have to re-analyze the discussion on our own, and draft material that meets that actual consensus (and as it relates to and did not change much longer-standing, more general consensus). But to address some specifics:
    • This draft is still rambling; it could use both compression and some rewording into guideline-style instead of essay-style language.
    • The opening "Transgender, non-binary, and other people in similar circumstances should be ..." isn't actually grammatical.
    • Remove "and to avoid harm"; that is WP:GREATWRONGS / WP:ADVOCACY stuff that will be used as a wedge to fight long- and solidly-established consensus to sometimes use old names from within the period of notability. If we were to accept that any use of a deadname "causes harm" then we'd be forbidden to ever do it for any reason. Consensus obviously does not agree with that proposition, so we cannot sneak it in through the back door.
    • "and not: Bruce Jenner (now known as Caitlyn Jenner)" does not reflect consensus. The RfC was very clear that there is no fixed prescription for how to write such material; which order and exactly what wording to use will vary by context. If we want to advise against the exact wording "now known as" for some reason, that should be done separately, not in a way that implies old-name-then-new-name order is forbidden.
    • "If a living person was not notable under a former name, for privacy reasons ... that name must not be included in any Wikipedia article" doesn't reflect consensus or actual practice, and basically it cannot. We do in fact include an old name (usually the birth name) when it is regularly reported in reliable sources. I.e., when the subject has no actual privacy interest in it. For the average case of a TG/NB person who became notable after transition we would not disclose the birth name, but there will be exceptions. RuPaul is a potential example (expresses no pronoun preference, and has presented as feminine for the most part, aside from some late-career masculine film roles); another would be nonbinary (in later life, previously male-identifying) Genesis P-Orridge; though recently deceased, there was nothing wrong with P-Orridge's article giving the birth name, which has been publicly known for decades. This generally happens when someone is famous in a sector where birth names are routinely included in the RS, and especially when their gender identity has been unclear and did not involve a change to their professional name. It's also apt to happen when the birth-to-professional-name change has nothing to do with gender. Frankly, the material drafted above is oversimplifying in detail yet at excessive length in wording, a double-whammy. The way I wrote this part in the version before this one was better, though could probably be tweaked a little.
    • I'm also concerned that some of the motivation here is expressed in the subsection above this as 'I don't think there is consensus for examples like "[Caitlyn] Jenner" in direct quotes, though many editors who are against deadnaming would be perfectly happy with this.' This is missing the important fact that 20 years of consensus on WP (and centuries of general English-writing practice) is that it's permissible to do this. The RfC did not magically undo this, it simply did not come to a consensus that doing a lot of this (especially multiple times in the same quoted sentence) is preferable. The Juno example makes that aspect of it clear, but it should not be interpreted as effectively forbidding an occasional "[Caitlyn] Jenner". Remember that MoS does not exist for force most editors to write a new particular way, but to encapsulate consensus about how WP is best written.
    • There may be some other issues in this draft that boil down to mistaking the most recent RfC pair and the closer's lengthy opinion about them as being "the WP consensus" about every matter that this material may raise.
I think it would be more productive to re-start with my more concise and policy-based draft and tweak it to address concerns, rather than try to work this third version back toward consensus and guideline-appropriate wording.

PS: As -sche's table indicates, if we treat this draft material as a replacement for the entirety of the original guideline section, then we are losing points which need to be reintegrated.  — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  11:39, 22 February 2021 (UTC)

  • I'm not sure why you consider the opening ungrammatical. Perhaps the part of speech in the first list? I read it as "adjective, adjective, and adjective people".
  • The fact that something reported in Wikipedia causes direct harm to the subject of that information is not a reason for Wikipedia never to do it. We report true facts about scandals and crimes, with names attached.
  • The revelation of an otherwise non-public name can be harmful to anyone (used for anything from identity theft to doxxing) as can any violation of privacy. For trans people, it could cause anything from nothing at all to particularly hurtful online harassment to psychological trauma to a derailed career to an honor killing. Editors do need to be very careful with this sort of information if it is in fact relatively obscure. The "to avoid harm" phrase is used above in that context only, not to refer to deadnaming in general.
  • "Bruce Jenner (now known as Caitlyn Jenner)" is option F, and "Caitlyn Jenner (then known as Bruce Jenner)" is option E. By my count, A/B/E was favored 2:1 over C/D/F, and I read that as supermajority support for not using C, D, or F. Do you dispute the use of that threshold or that the RFC met that threshold or something else?
  • The issue of including or not including birth names in biographies is not being changed by these RFCs; that is already part of MOS:DEADNAME as it reads today: "If such a subject was not notable under their former name, it usually should not be included in that or any other article,[g] even if some reliable sourcing exists for it." Comparing more carefully, I see the existing text says "usually should not" instead of "must not"; I tweaked the above to match. The intention is the same, given there always might be an encyclopedic circumstantial exception, but you know, being careful. I don't read what you wrote in the "Alternative proposal" as being substantially different, so actually I don't object to it, though it adds some detail. (-sche could perhaps comment on whether that additional detail would have changed the outcome in any recent discussions; I had to cut back on some of my additional verbiage to avoid that.)
  • Yes, either "[Caitlyn] Jenner" or "[Jenner]" are not like, legally misquoting someone, but the former raises "putting words in people's mouths" objections that the latter does not, for two reasons. One is sheer anachronism, which is good to avoid for reasons of encyclopedic integrity and historical accuracy. People would object in the same way to a quote from a new mom like "my baby boy [Pope Francis] has given me great joy". (Following MOS:CHANGEDNAME we say "Jorge Mario Bergoglio was born on 17 December 1936" in Pope Francis.) It's not possible for the speaker to have known what the future name would be, therefore the alteration is arguably stretching the bounds of the "principle of minimal change". The second problem is the superheated debate about whether the speaker would have used the future name had they known about it and what the alteration implies about their beliefs on the subject. Even the omission of the first name would be enough to get some speakers complaining to Wikipedia that their words were being censored, much less putting in a name they never could have or would have used. All of these issues can be completely avoided simply by paraphrasing, which I think is what will actually happen in most or all cases. So it's not like the somewhat objectionable option is needed for variety when there's a fairly uncontroversial alternative. If we don't agree the deadnames-in-quotes RFC establishes that this should be the rule, I think it would be worthwhile to try to get explicit community affirmation one way or the other. I expect that folks toward the "avoid deadnaming" end of the opinion spectrum will be happy as long as the dead first name is omitted, and folks at the "avoid anachromisms" end will be happy as long as the future first name is omitted, and most folks would prefer a compromise like this to continued arguing over which first name should appear. But if I've misread editor opinion and there's a groundswell of support that "[Caitlyn] Jenner" must be allowed despite the objections raised, I would like to know that and have it recorded.
  • "There may be some other issues" is not really actionable, so I'm not sure how to respond to that concern.
  • I'm not seeing what points in the existing policy I dropped...I did drop the examples like "man/woman" just due to length, on the assumption people know what we mean when we talk about gendered words. "Chairman/chairwoman" are a bit problematic with respect to MOS:GNL anyway but it seems that for length reasons it's easier just not to get into that. And to some degree it's already taken care of by the advice to use an ungendered alternative in these contexts. BTW, I recently learned that "chairman" comes from a time in English history when literally there was only one chair to sit on and the man who was in charge of the group got to use it. -- Beland (talk) 08:32, 23 February 2021 (UTC)
This is probably all moot by now, given the proposal no. 4 below, but anyway: The grammar problem is structural, and probably fixable by just removing "other". Your second and third bullets support my own argument; the fact that you have to explain what you meant by it in detail simply shows why it would be misinterpreted/wikilawyered, in the way I suggested it would. (And those points are also supportive of the one I've been insistent about including, that we do not use editorial OR to "inverse out" non-notable authors of works we cite as sources, by changing their names in the citations away from what name the source is credited to). Yes, I dispute your assessment, because WP:NOTAVOTE and because many participants, while personally favoring one approach or another, were clear that exact phrasing/order should be left to editorial judgement. "I tweaked the above to match"; yes, I think that resolved that issue. Your anachronisms point I accept in its entirety, and I incidentally made a similar argument regardling the drafted example sentence (about Page) in version no. 4 below. "There may be some other issues": One of them has already been raised about no. 4 (and it was present in versions before no. 3). "not seeing what points in the existing policy I dropped": it won't be productive to get into a WP:Policy writing is hard analysis of that material at this point, since action has moved on to no. 4; it would probably take a couple of a paragraphs.  — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  19:29, 15 March 2021 (UTC)
  • Suggestion: I think one thing which is making this harder than it needs to be is that the various proposed wordings are all trying to combine two different guideline pages and change their texts to consolidate them at the same time as also changing the text to also make it more concise in general at the same time as also changing the actual substance of the text in significant ways to reflect two different RFCs. I think we would have an easier time if we took a step back and, ignoring the existing guidelines for a moment, rough-draft what guidelines the RFCs found consensus for. Then, identify which existing guidelines conflict with and need to be changed based on the RFCs, without looking at (or changing, consolidating, or condensing) anything else. Once we've established what the guidelines are, then it'll be easier to consolidate and condense them. -sche (talk) 02:52, 23 February 2021 (UTC)
    If you want to draft some points, I'm open to that approach. -- Beland (talk) 08:32, 23 February 2021 (UTC)
First, apologies to SMcCandlish that my comment above, about figuring out what guidelines are before combining them + existing guidelines, forgot to acknowledge that that's what his proposal (unlike those on either side of it) attempted. (As noted in its section above, there are cases where it went beyond or short of what either RfC or existing guideline supported, though.) I envisioned making a bulleted (check)list, unlike his prose, but realized in making it that I was nonetheless duplicating much effort he'd already done, though there's also utility to having two (more) people (beyond the closer) gauge what guidelines the RFCs/closes support.
I pasted the first RFC close, second (quotes) RFC close, and existing guidelines to my sandbox, and then trimmed non-rule verbiage and consolidated each set of guidelines as much as I could, in stages to keep the edit history (starting from each of those links) intelligible diff by diff. I distilled what I read as the operative rules. (In condensing the existing rules I made one change relative to their current text, to recognize that de facto we use a trans person's pronouns in all articles, not just their "main biographical article".)
This is a list of all rules (guidelines) present before the RFCs or in the RFCs (in sections): if you feel I missed or misrepresented any existing rules or rules the RFC closes found consensus for, let me know. I hope this aids with checking that any proposed wording covers/contains all the rules. (If nothing else, you can see—or I can point out—a lot of places where existing sentences can be made shorter e.g. through active voice!) I also used it to draft my own proposed combination of the existing guidelines and RFC results, which I will post shortly, with apologies for doing the xkcd standards thing... -sche (talk) 07:55, 8 March 2021 (UTC)
An admirable effort. I'm glad this bullet list strongly informed draft no. 4. I've made some copyediting suggestions, and indicated how to ensure site-wide consensus on the final version, in the subsection below.  — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  19:29, 15 March 2021 (UTC)

Fourth proposal[edit]

Using the bulleted lists I linked to in the section above, I had a go at a "combined" guideline, consolidating the existing MOS:GENDERID + MOS:DEADNAME + RFCs. This is shorter than either complete proposal above. (Here are the guidelines split by source: RfC 1, RfC 2, or pre-RfC MOS.) -sche (talk) 09:38, 8 March 2021 (UTC)

Note: this text was modified around 09:08, 16 March 2021 (UTC) based on feedback below. Because the re-ordering of some paragraphs makes it harder to track wording changes, here is a diff where paragraphs are in the same order so you can track just wording changes. -sche (talk) 09:17, 16 March 2021 (UTC)
Note: this text was modified around 01:52, 17 March 2021 (UTC) based on feedback below. Because the re-ordering of some paragraphs makes it harder to track wording changes, here is a diff where paragraphs are in the same order so you can track just wording changes. -sche (talk) 01:57, 17 March 2021 (UTC)

Refer to any person whose gender might be questioned with gendered words (e.g. pronouns, "man/woman", "waiter/waitress") that reflect the person's latest expressed gender self-identification as reported in the most up-to-date reliable sources, even when it doesn't match what is most common in sources. This applies in references to any phase of the person's life, unless they indicated a preference otherwise.

If a living transgender or non-binary person was not notable under a former name, it should not be included in any page (including lists, redirects, disambiguation pages, category names, templates, etc), even in quotations, even if some reliable sourcing exists for it. Treat the pre-notability name as a privacy interest separate from (and often greater than) the person's current name.

  • From Laverne Cox, not notable under prior name: Laverne Cox (born May 29, 1972) ...

A living transgender or non-binary person's former name should be included in the lead sentence of their main biographical article only if they were notable under it; introduce it with "born" or "formerly":

  • From Chelsea Manning, notable under prior name: Chelsea Elizabeth Manning (born Bradley Edward Manning; December 17, 1987) ...
  • From Elliot Page, notable under prior name: Elliot Page (formerly Ellen Page; born February 21, 1987) ...

Outside the main biography, generally do not go into detail over changes in the person's name or gender presentation unless they are relevant to the passage. When a person's gender may come as a surprise, explain it on first occurrence, without overemphasis. Avoid confusing constructions (Jane Doe fathered a child) by rewriting (e.g., Jane Doe became a parent). In articles on works or other activity by a living trans or non-binary person before transition, use their current name as the primary name (in prose, tables, lists, infoboxes, etc.), unless they prefer their former name be used for past events. If they were notable under the name by which they were credited for the work or other activity, provide it in a parenthetical or footnote on first reference; add more parentheticals or footnotes only if needed.

Paraphrase, elide, or use square brackets to replace portions of quotations to avoid deadnaming or misgendering, except in rare cases where exact wording cannot be avoided, as where there is a pun on the notable former name, etc.

  • Critic X said "Juno needs a fine [actor] to play its pregnant teenage star, and [Elliot] Page has shown [himself] to be the perfect [man] for the job." involves many bracketed changes, so is better paraphrased: Critic X argued that portraying the pregnant teenage lead in the film Juno required fine actor, and said that Page had proved perfect for the job.

In source citations, do not remove names of authors, or references to former names in titles of works. If the author is notable, the current name may be given, for example as "X (writing as Y)". Do not replace or supplement a person's former name with a current name if the two names have not been publicly connected and connecting them would out the person.

Does this miss (or misstate) anything? (You can see where I distilled each sentence from—RfC 1, 2, or the pre-RfC MOS—here. I omitted references to "privacy interests" which the existing MOS and RfC closes make, as they seem to be explanations, not rules per se, but I have no objection to putting them [back] in.) The text could have more examples, but following people's comments above I was going for brevity. Trying not to conflate guidelines about distinct groups, e.g. "living trans and nonbinary people" vs "trans and nonbinary people" vs "any person[s] whose gender might be questioned", led to some unwieldy sentences like the one that starts "In articles on works...", which could be made shorter if less specificity were OK. -sche (talk) 09:38, 8 March 2021 (UTC)

Pinging everyone who commented in the preceding sections: @Ajd, Beland, Bilorv, Blueboar, Crossroads, Elliot321, Markworthen, Newimpartial, SMcCandlish, SreySros, Tony1, and XOR'easter:. Thoughts on this, as a combination of the two existing guidelines and the two RFCs? -sche (talk) 23:50, 14 March 2021 (UTC)
  • Support with or without the following recommended minor changes: remove the Easter egg link in "even if" and change "any article" to "any page" if that was the intention (as categories and templates seem to be included in the scope). — Bilorv (talk) 00:22, 15 March 2021 (UTC)
  • Support with Bilorv's proposed changes. I'd also support it as written, but I can't imagine that the changes are at all controversial. The wording seems as tight and concise as is possible, and it seems to implement the RfC results without losing any detail or inserting anything not backed by the RfCs. Srey Srostalk 00:29, 15 March 2021 (UTC)
  • Support: yeah, this seems fine. AJD (talk) 05:01, 15 March 2021 (UTC)
  • I can live with it, as far as it goes, but it needs restoration of the part that we do not "inverse out" non-notable authors of cited works by changing their names as-published to what some editor's OR thinks is their current name. And it needs some copyedits: 1) "notable under the name they were credited for the work under" has too much "under" in itl; I think what is meant is "notable under the name by which they were credited for the work". 2) "etc" should be "etc." 3) "explain it without overemphasis on first occurrence" is easy to misread; try "explain it on first occurrence, without overemphasis". 4) "use brackets" should be "use square brackets"; what Americans call "parentheses" and nerds call "round brackets" are just called "brackets" in some dialects; the idea that "brackets" necessarily means "square brackets" is an Americanism. 5) The example of how to rewrite is actually terrible encyclopedic prose. Try: Critic X said "Juno needs a fine [actor] to play its pregnant teenage star, and [Elliot] Page has shown ... to be the perfect [person] for the job." This is more consonant with avoiding confusing constructions. Never mind; I mistook this example text as what was advised rather than what was to be replaced. 6) "Deadname" is slang/jargon, and not how the guideline itself should be written (other than mentioning it one time at the start, so people familiar with the term know they're at the right place). Try replacing with "the former name", "their previous name(s)", "a pre-transition name", or whatever fits the exact sentence best. 7) The material on "works" is missing that we don't treat material about published works differently from other achievements or sources of notability. This can be fixed with "In articles on works, achievements, etc. ... credited for the work or other activity". Without this, what's guaranteed to happen is a shitload of disputation about what constitutes a "work", and in particular a whole lot of attempts to not have this apply to Olympic records and other non-publications. And that would go directly against previous very solid RfCs on the matter, e.g. about Caitlyn Jennings and not censoring the name "Bruce" in a pre-transition sports context.

    On privacy: This draft is okay in not verbally dwelling on privacy matters, but has missed the point that the sole policy basis of this is WP:BLPPRIV, so we need to retain a link to that even if we do not re-explain it in situ. There's a pretty obvious string to use for that link: "living transgender or non-binary person.

    On a more meta note: I don't personally disagree with much of this (in fact, it encapsulates most of what I was getting at but which produced a bunch of kneejerk opposition when it was me who drafted it). However, it subtly departs in various ways from consensuses that have been established earlier in much larger discussions, e.g. at VPPOL in RfCs that ran for multiple months. So, regardless whether we – those participating here and now – agree it's good to go after some final tweaks, there's a fairly high likelihood it will generate blowback and be interpreted as a false consensus that was arrived at only among a comparatively tiny number of editors. I think it would probably be more long-term productive to make final tweaks and, barring any further "local" objections, list it at WP:VPPOL and add it to WP:CENT for a community yea/nay. That would take another month, but it might head off several years of repeat disputes. For better or worse this subject area and how to handle it has produced a tremendous amount of long-term dispute, so it needs to be done right, in a way that the community will actually accept as effectively binding (beyond long-term "consensus can change" process, i.e. if general-English-language practices strongly shift again). PS: I predict that failure of the first sentence of this draft to be limited to living persons is liable to be a sticking point. The entire point of giving any consideration to a subject's preferences is grounded in BLP, and the editorial community is unlikely to accept a "don't follow the sources" alleged-rule that conflicts with basic policy, without another policy backing up such an exception. We have that in BLP but we do not have it for dead subjects and we likely never will.
     — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  08:58, 15 March 2021 (UTC); corrected 09:49, 16 March 2021 (UTC)

    • SMcCandlish, MOS:GENDERID, from which the first paragraph derives, is already not limited to living biographical subjects. Do you really think there is a community-wide consensus to restrict its application, compared to the status quo? Newimpartial (talk) 17:24, 15 March 2021 (UTC)
      I think it is highly probable that MOS:GENDERID no longer entirely accurately represents consensus, because it has incrementally wandered (through few-editors discussions like this) away from how it was established and how it was revised after the long (both in time and volume) VPPOL RfCs about this subject. The draft above just makes the nature of the issue clearer than does GENDERID's current wording. In a nutshell, if in 5 years or whatever, the real-world coverage of someone who died 20 years earlier consistently prefers "she" but the subject was using "him" in their final years, WP is not really in a position to contradict the RS on the matter. As more cases of people publicly assuming alleged gender identifies and pronoun preferences as attention-getting mechanisms come to light the disconnect between going with a subject's stated most-recent preference, and following the sources, is going to become clearer. Right now, we're charitably assuming that any claim of gender identify must necessarily be legitimate and honest, and that's perhaps the safest position to take with regard to living subjects, but claims of any sort about the deceased are not something we leave to primary sourcing when secondary sources largely contradict it. Anyway, I'm not saying that the draft above is wrong to be couched in such terms, I'm just predicting that if it is, it increases the likelihood of consensus rejecting it as a "don't follow the sources" overreach. And that possibility might be more likely play out later than today.  — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  18:54, 15 March 2021 (UTC)
      For what it's worth, I agree that the community probably needs to clarify the treatment of deceased trans people's biographical articles, both in terms of pronouns/GENDERID and in terms of DEADNAMEs. For example, I have seen efforts to push non-notable birth names into articles pertaining to very recently deceased trans people and also into articles for trans people who died in the last century (or the one before), and it is not clear to me that the principles that should be used to decide these cases are precisely the same in each instance. It does seem likely (to me at least) that the community would probably support the principle of "last reliably known self-identification of the biographical subject" more than it would, say, a raw count of RS pronoun choices, but this will definitely need to go to RfC at some point; I hope a more refined formulation of principles can be proposed at that time. In the meantime, however, we have one status quo framework for pronouns etc. and a different framework for names. Newimpartial (talk) 19:29, 15 March 2021 (UTC)
      Fair enough. As I say, I'm not insistent that this line of the proposed draft change right now; I'm outlining where pushback is likely to originate eventually, because of tension between this wording and long-standing policy/practice. (Change your "raw count of RS pronoun choices" to "count of modern-RS pronoun choices", and you'll probably see clearer what I'm getting at. I.e., it has nothing to do with old sources that pre-date the subject's transition or pre-date the ongoing shift in English usage with regard to TG/NB people.) Anyway, I hope this digression does not derail addressing the other more copyediting-related concerns I raised.  — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  20:18, 15 March 2021 (UTC)
      I mean, I wouldn't be opposed to using, say, 5 years after a BLP subject's death and treating that - or 20 years ago, whichever is more recent - as a Jahr Null for determining appropriate names and pronouns for the biographies of people for whom this is an issue. But that would most definitely require new consensus, since right now we just don't have any kind of consensus concerning the encyclopaedic treatment of deceased trans people. Newimpartial (talk) 20:30, 15 March 2021 (UTC)
      because it has incrementally wandered (through few-editors discussions like this). As I said below, by my count something like 100 users contributed to the RFCs that this implements. On top of that, if I understand the RFCs you're referring to correctly - those being the only Village Pump RFCs I could find on Wikipedia:Manual_of_Style/Gender_identity/Discussions - they were five years ago and had a participation of like 20-ish people. --Aquillion (talk) 19:41, 15 March 2021 (UTC)
      But only very small fraction of that kind of editorial input is being put toward actually implementing guideline wording, and the interpretational and wording disputes about doing so have already been excessive. I think there is no question whatsoever that the result of this (call it draft no. 5 if you like) is going to be pretty well thought-out by some of the editors who care most about the topic area but that it will be a ciphre when comes to whether it actually represents WP-wide consensus. The way to ensure that is to put it up at VPPOL as a proposal for the community to approve (or not). We have a long-standing problem that certain elements of MoS that were drafted by too few people with too much argument are later claimed to be false consensus or a WP:CONLEVEL policy problem. Let's not contribute to that issue just out of a desire for haste.  — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  20:18, 15 March 2021 (UTC)
      On a procedural level, I have to agree with Aquillion, we don't need and shouldn't have additional RfCs on implementing the previous RfCs. I know you merely want to ensure this represents a sufficient level of consensus and are not trying to forumshop, but I think the idea that there'd need to be another RfC before the consensus of a previous RfC could be implemented is nonetheless the kind of thing WP:FORUMSHOP doesn't allow, for good reason. The RfCs above had well over a hundred participants and were widely advertised, including on VPPOL and VPR by you, so I think anyone who were to later suggest the consensuses they found represented an insufficient WP:CONLEVEL could be rebutted on that basis. Anyone who thinks the language they're implemented in doesn't reflect them can make that case. -sche (talk) 02:16, 16 March 2021 (UTC)
      So be it. I'm not going to open an additional RfC on it (though someone else might). But I firmly predict that we're going to have to have another dragged-out discussion like this in 6 months, or 12, or 18. I have learned from long experience that significant changes to MoS that affect many articles across any number of subject categories and which intersect with people's strong preferences about how to write, will inevitably lead to rehashed dispute about the legitimacy of the rule if it was only the subject of a MoS-talk RfC and not at the broader venue. These sometimes drag on for many years, and lead to an F-load of drama, which is why I and others list major ones. It is better to have a complete discussion now, even if it drags on a bit, than have multiple recurrent over a long period amid a continual haze of doubt and resistance.  — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  09:57, 16 March 2021 (UTC)
      Oh, I share your expectation that there'll continue to be disputes about what our guidelines should be, I just think that (aside from the "forumshopping" issues it would entail) a VPPOL RfC-confirmation-RfC strikes me as unlikely to prevent that...? (Some people will never accept "catering" to trans people and excluding deadnames etc, some people will never accept deadnaming, so at least one if not both will always want our guidelines to change.) And anyone who'd shut such disputes down with "look, this was decided on in a VPPOL RfC" can already say "look, these principles were decided in well-publicized, high-participation RfCs", and disputers can reply "WP:CCC" in either case. Maybe a VPPOL RfC-RfC would include a moratorium on changes to the guideline(s), but I'm not sure that would actually be desirable, since it's not clear to me that anyone here thinks that even if the RfCs were implemented in exactly the way they want, the result would be perfect and complete guidelines that won't need any future changes — one of the RfCs closed with notes about other issues that need discussing. -sche (talk) 23:18, 16 March 2021 (UTC)
  • @SMcCandlish: please remember to assume good faith. There are material differences between your proposal and this one, and dismissing opposition to your proposal as kneejerk opposition when it was me who drafted it is a fairly clear WP:ASPERSION. Srey Srostalk 18:18, 15 March 2021 (UTC)
    Randomly accusing people, without evidence, of assuming bad faith simply because they don't agree with you is itself an assumption of bad faith. Your logic fault here is in assuming that I characterize every possible objection to everything in my version as a knee-jerk overreaction. Please actually read what I wrote; I'm criticizing as knee-jerk overreaction the objections to the parts of what I drafted which are still present in this version and being accepted in it. Please consider focusing on content instead of contributor. It is not your job to thought-police every commentator on talk pages.  — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  18:54, 15 March 2021 (UTC)
    I appreciate your wordsmithing; in particular, I knew the "under the name [...] under" clause was awkward but I couldn't figure out how to word it better! I intend to update the wording above to reflect people's tweaks soon (leaving a comment with a diff when I do, so that anyone looking at the wording can see how it was tweaked relative to what people were initially responding to). However, I'm not sure it'd be appropriate to change "works" to "works, achievements, etc.": I used "works" because AFAICT that is specifically what the RfC at the top of this page dealt with. I can see the concern that people may argue over whether Olympic records are "works", but (a) it's not clear to me the RfCs showed consensus about—and thus, can provide a basis for a guideline about—achievements, Olympic records, etc (I count 10 or 11 people, less than a tenth of the participants, referring to "Olympic"), and (b) if we add "achievements", what is equally guaranteed to happen is a shitload of disputation from people arguing we can no longer say Jane Currentname was born in 1984, or that Currentname served as treasurer for the student government and earned an MBA in business in 2014, etc, but that we have to say "Jane Currentname (as John Deadname)" was treasurer, graduated, etc, which is AFAICT not supported by the current MOS (and RfCs) about trans people and is also not what we do even in non-trans cases like Cher, whose article says things like "Cher was born..." and "When Cher was in fifth grade, she produced a performance of the musical Oklahoma!" (I will think about and comment regarding an anti-"inverse-outing" sentence shortly.) -sche (talk) 02:16, 16 March 2021 (UTC)
    (I wasn't sure where to put a comment on your revised draft, -sche, and this looked like the first likely spot.)
    I like the direction of the changes, particularly the revisions to the sequence of the DEADNAME text. In my view, your draft still needs to specify "living" more often, since the status quo is that only the GENDERID material covers deceased trans etc. persons while the DEADNAME material is specific to living persons.
    Also, I liked my own (!) additions of or any other pre-transition activity and or other achievement in two places in the works paragraph (requiring slight additional adjustments, as you can see below - I didn't want to spam that whole paragraph here but it does offer context). That RfC was always intended to cover other achievements and activity, not works alone, and it ought to be made clear to the reader (as SMcCandlish has pointed out) that works represent an example of implementation rather than a unique case requiring special treatment.
    And I still prefer the Elliot Page lead sentence example to Chelsea Manning, for the reasons I have set out below, but I recognize that some editors would find the more familiar example reassuring... Newimpartial (talk) 16:21, 16 March 2021 (UTC)
    To be more precise, I think In articles on the works and other activity of a trans or non-binary person before transition is a more accurate reflection of the RfC (and its close) than the text you now propose; the passage it is introducing is the use the current name as the primary name unless text, which applies in all cases.
    Likewise, I also think If they were notable under the name by which they were credited for the work or other achievement would be a helpful amendation; I do not understand the shitload of disputation objection, since the paragraph already addresses articles on works of (or, as I propose, articles on the works and other activity of, which is distinct from the main biographical page in either case.
    Also, upon reflection, I still feel that the paragraph beginning If the person was not notable under a former name should precede the one about the lead sentence (which would also mean placing introducing the Cox example first, and some wordsmithing; viz., "If a living transgender or non-binary person..."). My reasons are the following: (1) the exclusion of non-notable deadnames is a more general principle, and more relevant to the editors reading the guideline, than the specification of how to include the deadname in the main biographical article; (2) this would move the BLPPRIV reference closer to the opening of the DEADNAME section, making a key grounding for this principle more evident to the reader.
    Finally (!?), I would suggest that including "redirects" (presumably placed before "disambiguation pages") in the list of examples in that paragraph would close off a particularly important potential exploit. Newimpartial (talk) 16:49, 16 March 2021 (UTC)
    Moving the more general, relevant-policy-containing principle on non-notable deadnames up is a great idea; I'll do that soon, and add "redirects". (I've considered moving the proposal to a WT:Manual of Style/Biography/DEADNAME sandbox so people could edit it and undo edits and see changes via edit history like on a typical page.) Regarding "living", I tried to conserve the scope of each guideline or RfC; the RfC questions didn't mention a limitation to living trans or nonbinary people, but I take it you infer from their being on this page and one saying it was to update MOS:DEADNAME that it was intended to apply only to living people? OK.
    If people want "achievements"/"events"/"activity" to also be covered by the text then it should be, but I think we need to think through the wording and consequences thereof first since the RfC (scoped to "works") didn't. To the extent people think expanding "articles about works..." to include achievements/events/activity would make it cover Olympic records, they seem to(?) think 1976 Summer Olympics is an article about [achievements by] Caitlyn Jenner, yes? Then some people will say an article on e.g. a school, mentioning or listing notable students, is about the students and their achievement/activity of attending or graduating, and they'll insist the person has to be listed as "Jane Currentname (formerly John Deadname)", which (my point is) is not what we do even with non-trans people, e.g. Whitney M. Young Magnet High School lists Michelle Obama as a graduate even though she didn't have that name when she graduated. Can we think of wording that will cover the Olympic (etc) cases people want to cover, without introducing regression to the "X High School#Alumni" cases? (Maybe what name to use in e.g. lists of alumni is already covered by some other guidance and my concerns here, as with my Cher examples, are unnecessary?) -sche (talk) 22:03, 16 March 2021 (UTC)
    Briefly, since the RfC was titled and worded as a modification to DEADNAME (which addresses BLPs), and since the application of DEADNAME to deceased people was not substantively discussed in the RfC, I believe that the "works" provisions are still specific to living Trans and NB people. (I have frequently expressed interest in the policy treatment of names in biographical articles for deceased Trans and NB people, but haven't gained much traction on those issues to date.)
    As far as the other point goes, I am having difficulty seeing a problem with a recommendation to include the former name if notable, even for non-"achievements"; e.g., while Queen Elizabeth High School (Halifax) currently does not include Elliot Page's deadname in his entry in the Alumni list, I would not see it as a problem, much less a shitload of disputation-level of disturbance, if it did. I frankly see more potential problems from people making end-runs around policy in the opposite direction (leaving out post-transition names) if this guidance is not expanded, but I may be missing something. Newimpartial (talk) 22:37, 16 March 2021 (UTC)
    • SMcCandlish, I agree with most of your tweaks, but can you clarify your point #5? It's good that we're saying to replace the quote-with-many-brackets with that prose. We are supposed to avoid awkward constructions like male-named individuals playing a pregnant teenage girl and the like. Crossroads -talk- 06:00, 16 March 2021 (UTC)
      • On the 'Critic X" example: You're right! I was suffering a coffee deficiency and mistook that for advised treatment rather than an example of something to replace. Works: It's what one RfC at the top of the page focused on. But both RfCs, plus the original guideline and the consensus behind it have to be merged. RfCs do not exist in a vacuum and are not a magical tail that wags the editorial dog. :-) The outcome of all of this has to make sense both when read in situ and when interpreted in conjunction with all applicable policy and practice. We did not create a mystically different rule for works; we used works as an example of how to approach a problem, because it was a common sort of case. But the underlying problem to solve is much broader. Your "Jane Currentname" cases do not arise, because it is not required to use an older name in a context in which it could apply, it's just permissible to do so when it's important for clarity and (not "or") when that name is within the notability period. Cher: Only some of our articles do that. We have many with early-life sections that use an old name and (outside the lead) don't introduce the professional, common name until it is chronologically relevant. And some other articles, like Cher's, are not written that way. My entire point about this is that it's always, since WP's beginnings, been a matter of editorial judgement, and these RfCs did not nuke that editorial judgment; what's happened is injection of a layer of BLPPRIV-based concern that is particular to TG/NB people, which modifies the extent to which that editorial judgement can range in some cases (and it's not actually tied to whether something under discussion is a published work; again, that's just the kind of case that caused the question to be examined more closely). And it wasn't even these RfCs that add this filter; rather, they just clarified it some (or seek to do so). PS: This may actually tie in a bit with Newimpartial's bit below, about 'my problem is the placement of the "In articles on works by..." sentences before the more general statement ... seems to ... obscure the desired treatment". So does artificially limiting to literally only published works, which is not something the community would ever intend. God did not make them unique circumstance. Heh.  — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  09:44, 16 March 2021 (UTC)
        • In your defense, re the Page example, I initially used {{xt}} for it, so only the small bit of subsequent prose said it "is better paraphrased"; just prior to your response to Crossroads here (and to me re Cher) I updated it to use {{!xt}} to put it in red and emphasize the "don't!!" aspect. :) -sche (talk) 09:56, 16 March 2021 (UTC)
  • Support; this looks good to me and seems to reflect the broad consensuses above. I don't agree that requesting further RFCs before implementing this one is reasonable (assuming it reaches a consensus) - by my count the current series of RFCs has been going since last August, with the recently-closed ones being broken up from that when people objected that it didn't attract enough comments and didn't go into enough depth on what it was changing. The one this one implements ran for three months, was advertised on WP:VPPOL, and had nearly a hundred people commenting on it; it's plainly sufficient consensus to override any prior RFCs, especially since (if people were concerned that the above RFC wouldn't be sufficient to implement some of the things it clearly sought) there was ample time to raise that objection beforehand rather than wasting three months by requesting a... fourth (or fifth at this point?) RFC afterwards. Everyone who wanted a chance to weigh in has had ample opportunity to do so, generally multiple times; on anything this controversial there are always going to be some people who refuse to accept any outcome, but I'm not convinced that any further RFCs are likely to change that number significantly, and as-is, just from the discussions above, this is as firm a consensus as can reasonably be required for something of this nature. If people are still concerned, this RFC could be advertised to various places (it's only a few days old), but unless things change drastically I think we're at the end of the road and this RFC ought to be implemented as soon as it is closed. --Aquillion (talk) 09:35, 15 March 2021 (UTC)
    The very fact that it's taken this much debate to even decide to make a change and what some elements of that change might entail, and then it's taken a tremendous amount of drafting and re-drafting and re-re-redrafting and now re-re-re-re-drafting, after considerable and detailed analysis, are precisely why what emerges from this sausage-making process should more prominently be put up for community consensus assessment. It's actually entirely normal for an RfC focused on agreeing there's an issue and to do something about it to lead in turn to additional, clarifying and decision-making, RfCs. This has been true for as long as WP has been usign RfCs as a dispute-resolution and decision-making process. See also WP:POLICY#Proposals: "Proposals for new guidelines and policies require discussion and a high level of consensus from the entire community for promotion to guideline or policy." The more substantive the change, and the more it implicates other policies and guidelines (as this one does) the greater the necessity to ensure the community as a whole, not just watchers of a sub-guideline talk page, is aware of it and comes to a consensus for it.  — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  20:18, 15 March 2021 (UTC)
  • Support - A concise version that includes the essential guidance. Thank you -sche. Mark D Worthen PsyD (talk) [he/his/him] 16:59, 15 March 2021 (UTC)
  • Query (for -sche) - the third-from-last RfC (this one) provided (what seemed to me to be) the clear result that deadnames under which the subject had not been notable were not only excluded from the lead/lead sentence, but also from article space in general - in particular, they would not be featured in the rest of the main bio article for a BLP or in redirects. This finding was not, AFAICT, overturned in either of the more recent RfCs, so it should be reflected in the new MOS language. There had been difficulty agreeing on language to reflect that RfC outcome, which is why the status quo ante "lead sentence" language was still in MOSBIO, but the actual result of the RfC seemed quite clear - non-notable deadnames should not appear a BLP subject's main article or in redirects. Newimpartial (talk) 17:16, 15 March 2021 (UTC)
    Isn't that handled by this sentence in the proposal above? If the person was not notable under the former name, it should not be included in any article (including lists, disambiguation pages, category names, templates, etc), even in quotations, even if some reliable sourcing exists for it. Srey Srostalk 18:22, 15 March 2021 (UTC)
    Well, obviously I don't think it is. Perhaps my problem is the placement of the "In articles on works by..." sentences before the more general statement you cite, which seems to me to obscure the desired treatment in the main article (and I've seen a lot of edits out in the wild by people who would prefer the desired treatment to be obscured so they can do something else). Here is a suggested reworking of the DEADNAME part of the proposal:

A living transgender or non-binary person's former name should be included a biographical article only if they were notable under that name. In cases where a redirect exists from it, the notable name should be included in the first sentence of the lede, introduced with "born" or "formerly":

  • From Elliot Page, notable under prior name: Elliot Page (formerly Ellen Page; born February 21, 1987) ...

If the person was not notable under the former name, it should not be included in the main biographical article or any other page - including lists, redirects, disambiguation pages, category names, templates, etc. - even in quotations, and even if some reliable sourcing exists for it. This includes the lead sentence (and infobox) of the primary biographical article:

  • From Laverne Cox, not notable under prior name: Laverne Cox (born May 29, 1972) ...

In articles discussing works a living trans or non-binary person produced before their transition or any other pre-transition activity, use the person's current name as the primary name (in prose, tables, lists, infoboxes, etc), unless they prefer their former name be used for past events. If they were notable under the name by which they were credited for the work or other achievement, provide it in a parenthetical or footnote on first reference; add more parentheticals or footnotes only if needed. Outside the main biography, generally do not go into detail over changes in the person's name or gender presentation unless they are relevant to the passage. When a person's gender may come as a surprise, explain it on first occurrence, without overemphasis. Avoid confusing constructions (Jane Doe fathered a child) by rewriting (e.g., Jane Doe became a parent).

Paraphrase, elide, or use brackets to replace portions of quotations to avoid deadnaming or misgendering, except in rare cases where exact wording cannot be avoided, as where there is a pun on the notable former name, etc.

  • Critic X said "Juno needs a fine [actor] to play its pregnant teenage star, and [Elliot] Page has shown [himself] to be the perfect [man] for the job." involves many bracketed changes, so is better paraphrased: Critic X argued that portraying the pregnant teenage lead in the film Juno required a fine acting talent, and said that Page had proved perfect for the job.
Note that I removed the "don't out people" passage not because I object to it, but because I think it would be better to reintroduce the BLPPRIV link somewhere and didn't know how much to add or where - I would support SMcCandlish's suggestion to reinsert text about non inverse-outing people, and that might be a good place for it.
Also, I don't really think there should be two Elliot Page examples, but would rather see them used as a first sentence example; while I recognize the work that went into the example from Juno, perhaps there would be an example from critical responses to The Wachowskis that would make the same point. Newimpartial (talk) 19:08, 15 March 2021 (UTC)
Ah, I didn't see that potential ambiguity originally but that makes sense now. I also support this version, although perhaps it would be best to settle on a proposal and then iron out the wording in the article (that may be foolhardy, but I fear that we'll end up with dozens of proposals with all essentially the same meaning). If we don't like having two Elliot Page examples, why not keep the original Chelsea Manning example currently at DEADNAME? Srey Srostalk 19:45, 15 March 2021 (UTC)
My list of reasons would include (1) I'm not a big fan of the Elliot Page quote example; (2) while the Chelsea Manning name example is fine, I am also not a fan of directing readers to that article as a model for the treatment of trans BLP subjects generally (note the virtual exclusion of Chelsea's first name from that article); (3) given that we won't present many examples, I'd rather give one where the notable former name is not identical to the birth name, so as not to cater unduly to the "birth-name fundamentalists" - I have seen them argue that if any former name is notable, then the legal name at birth should be included in the article even if it is not identical to the notable prior name. I would rather give an example where the name given is not the birth name, since it is a more significant case. (I suspect that is more explanation than you actually wanted, but there it is.) Newimpartial (talk) 19:57, 15 March 2021 (UTC)
The omission of the "RfC: To broaden MOS:Deadname" is an oversight on my part, sorry; Beland opened the initial thread to find wording to implement "the RFCs above"—the two which are still at the top of this page—and those seem to be all anyone was looking at (the first mentions of the "broaden" RfC I see are your and Aquillion's comments from today on this proposal), so those two RfCs and the existing guidelines are all I looked at. However, the existing MOS:DEADNAME already doesn't limit its prohibition on mentioning non-notable deadnames to just the lead sentence, so I already aimed to retain that prohibition. I thought I did so, by saying "any article (including lists, disambiguation pages, category names, templates, etc)" (much the same wording as the existing MOS:DEADNAME and its footnote use), but I see how including it in the same paragraph as "In articles on works..." is confusing. Perhaps simply making "If the person was not..." a new paragraph would clear that up, also possibly addressing EddieHugh's comment below. I will look over your and other editors' proposed wording changes more in a moment. -sche (talk) 00:30, 16 March 2021 (UTC)
I included the Elliot Page paraphrasing example since it was in the RfC close and illustrated the finding to paraphrase when many bracketed changes would be needed; I don't object to dropping it and just having a prosaic note like "Paraphrase especially when multiple bracketed changes would be required." Regarding your other Page example, I'm concerned that trying to go beyond summarizing the RfCs and existing guidelines and into providing a new piece of guidance risks "doing too much at once" and derailing implementing the RfCs. (And the existing example of Manning suggests current practice allows the full former/birth name even though Manning was only notable under the first name + last name.) Regarding Chelsea Manning not being a good example due to "virtual exclusion of Chelsea's first name from that article": isn't that going to be the case in any article, trans or not, as a consequence of WP:SURNAME? In fact, her article not only uses bare "Chelsea" in a few places, it also uses her full name more than I would have expected an article to do given WP:SURNAME; what am I missing/misunderstanding? -sche (talk) 04:31, 16 March 2021 (UTC)
I like the existing Page example regarding quotes with many brackets and feel it perfectly illustrates how to handle that scenario, which was a huge topic at the RfC. I'm not worried if more than one example is about Page; I see no problem with that. Crossroads -talk- 06:00, 16 March 2021 (UTC)
So, -sche, you are right that Chelsea Manning generally follows MOS:SURNAME, with a couple of "Chelsea"s that are not even required. Reflecting on why the article strikes me as a questionable model, I suppose it is the very long sequence of sections after the lead - which are quite detailed, and in which "Chelsea" is never used - that give me that impression. I suppose I have also spent enough time editing mononym cases, and cases where surnames changed along with given names, that this probably more typical case strikes me as atypical.
As far as the birth name issue goes, I don't think I am proposing or even implying a "new piece of guidance". In cases where a trans or nonbinary person was not notable under their birth name, we do not include it, and where they were notable under a pre-transition professional name, we do include that. This is what we already do, and is also what the existing guidance (pre-recent RfCs) already told us to do. I don't believe that silently offering an example that follows what existing policy and practice already require is at all the same as providing a new piece of guidance.
As far as Manning's middle name is concerned, that particular issue was decided a long time ago, and might not reach precisely the same conclusion now. However, my sense based on recent article-level RfCs and other discussions is also that the community might be more accepting of inclusion of the middle name as an insertion to the subject's notable prior name than it is about including a birth surname that differs from the notable professional surname, or including a first name AAB that is not part of the person's notable prior name. So I would still prefer that the example chosen in this instance not cater unduly to the birth name fundamentalists, who will then argue that if any former name is notable then the birth name must be included in the lede even though this view has not met with consensus in any of the discussions about it that I've seen in the last year or so. Newimpartial (talk) 12:47, 16 March 2021 (UTC)
  • I like the thought behind saying a "former name should be included a biographical article only if they were notable under that name. In cases where a redirect exists from it, the notable name should be included in the first sentence of the lede". I'm not sure it would currently have a different effect than the shorter wording in the current guideline and in my proposal (?), since if someone is notable under a former name and the lack of redirect is being used to not have the name in the first sentence, someone can/will just create the redirect to justify moving the name up. But if other people also like it, I like it despite the length. I think we should have a talk page/section where we can brainstorm/workshop proposals of other changes to make to our guidelines on this, and one thing I'd like us to discuss later is whether to move some deadnames out of the first sentence or lead e.g. if the name was only notable a long time ago, or was only very borderline notable, since the excessive prominence in the first few words of the lead is a recurring compliant I see from people outside Wikipedia. -sche (talk) 22:45, 16 March 2021 (UTC)
    I didn't really explain that bit, and I don't know how others feel about it, but it came from my attempts to figure out for myself when exactly the included in the first sentence and bolded treatment is a clear benefit (and presumable policy requirement) for the encyclopaedia, and the answer I came to is "when there is a redirect" as in other examples of BOLDSYN. I have long understood the status quo ante as permissive of this treatment rather than mandating it for all deadnames that could be argued to have been notable, but where there is a legit redirect then it seems to me to make the lead sentence treatment normative. Of course some people will create redirects so they can force deadnames in, and others will try to delete redirects so they can keep deadnames out, but at least that would guide the encyclopaedia towards a consistent treatment based on articulated principle rather than whatever editors can get away with. However, I didn't say any of that when I posted my draft, and I am not at all pretending without evidence that people already agree with the idea. I'm just happy that one or two do. Newimpartial (talk) 23:17, 16 March 2021 (UTC)
  • I'm confused by the placement and wording of "If the person was not notable under the former name, it should not be included in any article (including lists, disambiguation pages, category names, templates, etc), even in quotations, even if some reliable sourcing exists for it." Is this meant to apply to "articles on works by a trans or non-binary person before transition", as implied by its position in the same paragraph? If so, where is the consensus for this in the RfC closing comments, which highlight primary use and list the merits of including both names in some instances? The sentence could also be interpreted as referring not only to works, so it applying to BLP only should be stated explicitly. EddieHugh (talk) 19:30, 15 March 2021 (UTC)
    • I believe you are looking for the following bullet from the RfC close: As per existing policy, where there is no name mismatch with cited works, when the deadname not notable enough to override the privacy interest of the subject, or when describing works and events after a name has been chosen to match a gender identity, only the chosen name should be used (B) (Emphasis added). Was that it? This also reflects the close of the third-last RfC (which I linked above), which excludes non-notable deadnames from article space in general (except for the inverse-outing case that SMcCandlish has pointed out). Newimpartial (talk) 19:43, 15 March 2021 (UTC)
      No, that doesn't cover it. That explicitly mentions "where there is no name mismatch with cited works" (i.e. don't add names that the person has changed and that weren't in the work), but the latest proposal appears to require editors not to mention a name that was in a work unless a) the person endorses its use, and/or b) the person was notable under that name. And its application only to BLP still needs to be made explicit. EddieHugh (talk) 20:10, 15 March 2021 (UTC)
      Perhaps we are reading the close differently. The passage I italicized is in an "or" relationship with the other two clauses - if any of those conditions applies, the deadname is not to be used. And as the close itself points out, this is the status quo (at least since the RfC I linked above) - non-notable deadnames of living trans people are excluded from "article space". Yes, this is specific to the works of living trans people, but this whole section is about the deadnames of "A living transgender or nonbinary person", so it does not seem ambiguous to me. Newimpartial (talk) 20:20, 15 March 2021 (UTC)
      I think your interpretation – 'A, B, or C' – is correct. I do strongly encourage spelling out that the entirety of MOS:DEADNAME is under WP:BLP (I'm referring to -sche's proposal, which might still be the main one; it's hard to know what each person is discussing!). We acknowledge it here, and we know the difference between policy and guideline, but others on a thousand talk pages won't read this and won't know the difference. The clearer we can make the point, the easier it will be for everyone on those talk pages. EddieHugh (talk) 21:06, 15 March 2021 (UTC)
      I added one more "living" to my proposal variant; I hope that is sufficient. Also, unlike the DEADNAME material, the MOS:GENDERID portion that opens -sche's proposal is not limited to living people - in terms of the status quo, at least - so perhaps this becomes more of an issue of the two pieces of guidance are brought together than it is if they are presented separately. Newimpartial (talk) 21:11, 15 March 2021 (UTC)
  • Support: I like the increasing plain clear simplicity but i would put the example article * From Laverne Cox, not notable under prior name: etc after the para that starts If the person was not notable under the former name, it should not be included ... so it is a clear example of that passage. I agree another example to replace one of the Page ones would be good. ~ BOD ~ TALK 19:37, 15 March 2021 (UTC)
    • That looks like support for my proposal, to be clear. Bodney - if so, would it be alright with you if I redo the proposal to accept your Cox suggestion, before anyone else comments (e.g., while I'm "allowed")? Newimpartial (talk) 19:47, 15 March 2021 (UTC)
      yes ~ BOD ~ TALK 20:07, 15 March 2021 (UTC)
      Thanks. Done. Newimpartial (talk) 20:11, 15 March 2021 (UTC)
  • I'm confused about what this is recommending for articles about notable works produced by transgender people before they transitioned (remember that not all notable works are by notable authors so there might not be a separate biographical article.). For example in an article about "The Story", a notable novel written by a person known as John Smith at the time it was published but who is now known as Jennifer Jones. If there is a lead image with "John Smith" on the cover of the book it will likely be confusing if the only mention of "John Smith" is in a footnote - if there is an edition which uses "Jennifer Jones" as the author name then using an image of that will obviously be preferable in at least some cases but (images of it) will not always exist. Additionally new editions of a work being published under the deadname cannot be taken as a guarantee that the author prefers that name to be used for past events as publishers do not have to respect authors wishes in every case - additionally some will be OK with using that name for the work but prefer their current name to be used for all events (e.g. "Jennifer Jones visited Tahiti when researching The Story") - this almost certainly belongs elsewhere than this proposal, but I don't know where. I do agree that the proposal should not be limited to just works and that something about not "reverse outing" people should be added. Thryduulf (talk) 21:50, 15 March 2021 (UTC)
    Yeah, a lot of edge cases are going to emerge from this. It's one of the reasons this is such a sprawling discussion. We might have to settle for a "usually mostly sensible" version emerging from these debates for now, with follow-on clarifications as the needs for them more clearly arise. Your specific scenario also speaks strongly to what I was getting at yesterday, above, about it being an obvious WP:NOTAVOTE mistake to suppose that more support, in a generalized and abstracted and context-free way, for "Jennifer Jones (then John Smith)" format can somehow be interpreted as a prohibition of "John Smith (now Jennifer Jones)" format; or to treat a vague preference for footnoting as if it constitutes a rule against parentheticals. Both of these are normal editorial-judgment matters that will depend on the context and on the specific communication-to-the-readers need at hand.  — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  10:08, 16 March 2021 (UTC)
  • Strong oppose. Some of it is OK, but overall it's going to cause en.WP a lot of problems. AND the propose text needs a good copy-edit. Tony (talk) 00:27, 16 March 2021 (UTC)
    • Is there another way you would propose to implement the RfCs, then? Newimpartial (talk) 00:39, 16 March 2021 (UTC)
  • I've updated the wording above based on feedback. Yesterday, I reordered some paragraphs (without wording changes in this diff) to make "If the person was not notable [...]" its own paragraph (to clarify it applies even outside articles on works), and to move the Laverne Cox example under the guideline it illustrates, then I adjusted the wording to incorporate several wordsmithing suggestions, to restore the existing MOS wording about and link to BLPPRIVACY which editors noted was important, to summarize the RfC close as best I could with regard to author names and book names, and to caution against "reverse outing".
    Today, I reordered some paragraphs (without wording changes in this diff) to move up the more general guideline (on non-notable deadnames) which also now has (retained) the link to BLPPRIVACY which people rightly pointed out was important, and to make the "in articles on works" paragraph part of the "outside the main bio" so people don't think it applies inside the main bio. Then, I adjusted the wording to mention "redirects", to clarify a reference to "lead sentence" that didn't explain "the lead sentence of what articles?", and to clarify that "works" includes other activities and is limited to works/activities by living people. -sche (talk) 01:57, 17 March 2021 (UTC)
    • Since nobody else has done so, I will point out that the newest text looks good, at least from my standpoint. Thanks for your hard work. Newimpartial (talk) 16:51, 19 March 2021 (UTC)
At the risk of throwing a wrench into my own proposal, I want to ask one last question before implementing the wording updates ... what are people's thoughts on leaving GENDERID (since it's about pronouns for anyone living or dead) and DEADNAME (since it deals with names as part of "§Names §Changed names" and ironically for a guideline named DEADNAME covers only living people) on their separate pages, rather than combining them? Just take the paragraph that starts "Refer to any..." and ends "...a preference otherwise." and the half-paragraph that starts "Outside the main..." and ends "...became a parent)." and that's MOS:GENDERID, and the rest is MOS:DEADNAME, i.e. the two guidelines would look like this. (Or, concievably, GENDERID could be left as-is.) I combined them above because that was done in earlier proposals, but leaving them on their separate pages would avoid the minor oddness of guidance about pronouns and "waiter / waitress" being in "§Names §Changed names", and possibly reduce confusion over the two guidelines having different scopes ("any person [living or dead] whose gender might be questioned" vs "a living transgender or nonbinary person"). OTOH, I see the advantage to having all the guidance in one place. -sche (talk) 19:07, 27 March 2021 (UTC)
I suggested a while ago (but it seemed to be overlooked) that the material be together but put under a new heading on this page called "gender identity", right after the short "sexuality" section. GENDERID and DEADNAME would both redirect there. Crossroads -talk- 21:41, 27 March 2021 (UTC)
Ah, that's a good idea (and is, I now recall, what Beland did when editing the page before.) I've updated MOS: and MOS:BIO in the manner discussed above, and updated where MOS:GENDERID and MOS:DEADNAME point. If other pages need to be updated please let me know or update them. I left a note at the former location of GENDERID in the MOS: to assist with what are likely a large number of old / "historical" links to there (and because it's topical to mention this guidance there). (This is without prejudice to the discussion further down this page about the phrase "and often greater than", which is unchanged between the former guidelines and the now-updated guidelines, and which that discussion may or may not decide to change.) -sche (talk) 21:03, 31 March 2021 (UTC)
I hope this actually works. As I've said repeatedly, I predict that the avoidance of involving broader community input is going to results in backlash. That would be unfortunate, given the amount of so many editors' efforts on this.  — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  10:30, 3 April 2021 (UTC)

General Comments[edit]

Trying to participate in the discussion of this policy, it's not clear where I should add this comment without spending too much time reading minutia. I put it here since it may apply to all of the above: Pronouns are more useful when they tell the reader about the subject's body, not whatever he happens to be feeling at a particular moment in time. It is natural to ask what race and sex someone is, and it's contradicting reality to refer to a man (i.e. someone with XY chromosomes) with feminine pronouns, *etc.*; it is even more false than calling Black people White upon request, because race can be mixed... It creates confusion, both among the reader and for others coming to terms with their bodies and society, and ultimately encourages self-mutilating surgery. It pushes away editors with a low tolerance for foolishness who would otherwise participate in adding knowledge to articles. "Preferred pronouns" should only be used when there is legitimate ambiguity about the subject's sex, namely, for intersex people or those who obviously appear to be what they claim. As for deadnaming, it makes sense to use the names that carry legal status in the subject's government, though clarification may be needed with the correct pronoun if a name is chosen that obviously denotes a contrary sex. The current policy of lying about one's sex to try to comfort sexually-troubled people is counterproductive, irresponsible, ridiculous, confusing, contradicts Wikipedia's claims to objectivity, and overall harms Wikipedia's mission to generate and expand human knowledge. -- Newagelink (talk) 13:04, 2 April 2021 (UTC)

Pronouns are more useful when they tell the reader about the subject's body, not whatever he happens to be feeling at a particular moment in time - you may believe this, but it isn't the way the English language has ever worked, and it is also not a position that has ever gained any support at RfC even when SEALIONs freely roamed the shores. So your comments are unlikely to encourage anything but people who share the consensus reality embodied in the English language to rise up in reaction to your Comments. Newimpartial (talk) 13:27, 2 April 2021 (UTC)
Thanks for your reply -- maybe? -- but I don't understand some of it (e.g. what "SEALION" means -- I suppose you are, contrary to Wikipedia's instruction to assume good faith, assuming that I am only pretending to care?). What I recommend was almost universally followed up until ~2012 when journalists started adopting the LGBT ideology. Perhaps your comment serves to underscore that Wikipedia has already gone into its own secular echo-chamber, already having pushed away an entire demographic of society as I suggested above. I can't justify spending more time on this, since past experience here suggests the majority of Wikipedia editors are not interested in hearing another view or changing their political beliefs based on Aristotelian philosophy, biology, or logic. Yet I will repeat, as I think your comment demonstrates, that this policy only serves to polarize politically and push away editors, harming Wikipedia's mission of expanding human knowledge. -- Newagelink (talk) 01:26, 3 April 2021 (UTC)
First of all, I most definitely have AGF and did not compare you to a sealion; rather I pointed to a time in the past where brigading on these topics by POVsters was rather more common than it is now.
As far as pronouns are concerned, grammatical gender and social gender have been linked in all of the indo-European languages for as long as they have existed, and people with unconventional gender identities have used pronouns that differ from your biological presuppositions since at least the late Middle Ages in Europe. By the way, no reliable resources I know of give evidence that LGBT ideology even exists, much less has been adopted by mainstream journalism, but if you decline to participate in consensus reality I am sure there are more specialized wikis that would welcome your contributions. Newimpartial (talk) 02:23, 3 April 2021 (UTC)

Proposal for addition to MOS:DEADNAME[edit]

While I applaud the policy in general, I don't see any guidance for an important case: how to treat a person's former name within their main biographical article, when the former name is notable.

Motivating case: in the Wendy Carlos article, her birth name is mentioned in the article's lead sentence and in the infobox (as "Birth Name:"). As I will argue below, I think it would be relevant to mention the birth name again in the lead sentence of the Early Life section, but I don't think it belongs in the infobox as is.

Here is the policy at present:

  • "A living transgender or non-binary person's former name should be included in the lead sentence of their main biographical article only if they were notable under it."
  • "Outside the main biographical article, generally do not discuss in detail changes of a person's name or gender presentation unless pertinent."

But what about the rest of the main biographical article after the lead sentence? (I see that "in the lead sentence" was a late addition to the wording, which may explain this gap.) I suggest that we keep the current guideline for the lead sentence, and add a guideline for the rest of the main biographical article.

Specifically, I propose the following tweaks and additions to the current wording:

  • Tweak 1: "A living transgender or non-binary person's former name should only be included in the lead sentence of their main biographical article only if they were notable under it." (Edit for clarity on first reading.)
  • Addition 1: "Within the main biographical article, the former name should only be used where it is a relevant biographical detail:
    • From the 'Early life' section of Wendy Carlos, notable under her prior name: Carlos was born in Pawtucket, Rhode Island, as Walter Carlos, the first of two children born to working-class parents. [This wording can probably be improved.]
    • From the infobox of Wendy Carlos, who was published under her prior name: Other names: Walter Carlos (until 1979)."
  • Tweak 2: "Outside the main biographical article, generally do not discuss in detail changes of a person's name or gender presentation unless except where pertinent."

Now, the above guidelines use the words "relevant" and "pertinent." I don't know if either of these words are clearly defined within the context of Wikipedia article writing, but if this would add value, then I further propose:

* Addition 2: "As a litmus test of relevance, consider where other details of the person's early life, such their place of birth and the schools they attended, merit mention."

(Or, if it's worth saying explicitly, something along these lines: a biographical detail is relevant if it provides context to/helps tell the story of how the person came to do the things which make them notable.)

I'll now elaborate on the motivating case of Wendy Carlos. Apologies for the long post, but I did want to be clear in my reasoning. If the above proposals sound good to you, this section is optional; if you disagree with the above proposals, then the following specific case may provide something concrete to discuss.

Carlos published seminal early electronic music under the name Walter Carlos, making her former name relevant with regards to her works (this case in the mentioned in the current policy's "outside the main biographical article" paragraph.") Furthermore, her gender transition in itself is notable: "In 1979, Carlos raised public awareness of transgender issues by disclosing..."; there's an entire section Wendy_Carlos#Gender_transition.

At present, the first line in the infobox is "Birth Name: Walter Carlos." I will throw this to others to suggest what's best here: in terms of communicating information, this seems fine, but I plead my ignorance regarding sensitivity. I do think that changing it to "Other names: Walter Carlos (until 1979)" might be good, in that it shifts the focus from "life details" to "details about the artist". (It's a relevant detail to the reader that this artist was referred to (on LP covers, reviews, etc.) by another name before 1979.)

Finally, the initial reason I looked into this policy: I'd like to see the birth name repeated in the first sentence of the biographical Wendy Carlos#Early Life section. This may seem like a small detail at this point, but it caused me friction as a reader - enough to bring me here.

Just as details of birth (date, location) may be mentioned in both the article lede and the biography section's lede, I'm proposing that the birth name may also be worth repeating, if necessary for the biography section to tell a complete story. I am assuming that we would generally prefer that the biographical section is able to stand alone; that is, that a reader can start reading at Early Life, without having read the article introduction, and not be confused. Please correct me if this is a false assumption.

As it stands, the Wendy Carlos#Early Life includes a photo of a school-age Carlos, dressed in suit and bowtie, with the original caption "Walter Carlos and his project on audionics." This section is thus not self-contained; it requires the reader to have read the article introduction or else to infer the name change. Even if not for the photo caption, it is relevant to the biography whether her early years were lived as Wendy Carlos or Walter Carlos, because in the 1950s, a student with an interest in computers was treated very differently based on gender.

For the above reasons, I think the Early Life section should begin "Carlos was born in Pawtucket, Rhode Island, as Walter Carlos, the first of two children born to working-class parents."

Generally speaking, the Wendy Carlos case (and any agreement or disagreement over my proposed changes to it) provides a case study for my proposed changes to the policy described above. SSSheridan (talk) 12:20, 14 April 2021 (UTC)

Those do not seem like tweaks. That seems like major policy changes that would encourage over-use of the less-relevant name. Slywriter (talk) 12:42, 14 April 2021 (UTC)
I'm proposing an extension to the policy, not a tweak, and not a change. I would encourage you to reread the proposal: the items labeled "Tweak 1/2" are the current policy, slightly reworded for clarity; the items labeled "Addition 1/2" do not conflict with the current policy. Indeed, I made a real effort to maintain the spirit of the current policy, out of respect for the prior consensus (and because I support it). The purpose is to cover an important case on which the current policy is silent. If I am wrong, and there is in fact a policy for the body of a biographical article, then please point me to it so I know how to edit Wendy Carlos's article to conform to the policy, and I will apologize to you and anyone else reading this for taking their time.
My intention is to make the policy better, not to change it. I want to contribute by extending it to cover the gap in scope. Again, if this gap doesn't exist, please correct me. If you don't like my proposal, then please tell me why so that I can improve it. If it's just a matter of being exhausted about this topic, I completely understand that, but this is a discussion that's either going to happen here or in a hundred individual articles' talk pages. SSSheridan (talk) 14:03, 14 April 2021 (UTC)
PS: regarding "over-use of the less-relevant name." In my Tweak 2, I propose removing the words "in detail" because the current policy says (paraphrasing): where the name change is not pertinent, don't discuss it in detail. I hope you would agree that "in detail" should be removed? My point being: I, like you, want a policy that discourages over-use of the less-relevant name. SSSheridan (talk) 14:21, 14 April 2021 (UTC)

What is going on??[edit]

Oppose revisionist-history (or rather historical negationist) crediting in articles on works before the name change. Particularly at articles like 80th Academy Awards, where Page was nominated in the gender-specific actress category, this is ridiculous. Who cares what they prefer now? They acted as a woman. Credit them as the woman they were. No, I didn't read this bloated construction above me. Yes, I'm probably a tad insensitive. But this is a compendium of knowledge, not a scrapbook for the rich and famous. So unless some deep intellectual insight is eluding me, this pseudo-liberal idea is embarrassing on intellectual grounds alone. isento (talk) 05:28, 28 April 2021 (UTC)

You can't expect anything to happen when you Oppose-vote a closed RfC. Just saying. Newimpartial (talk) 12:26, 28 April 2021 (UTC)
Didn't see it was closed 😅 isento (talk) 22:11, 28 April 2021 (UTC)
Ah well, who cares. This pronoun silliness seems mostly relegated to the Hollywood show-biz circus. isento (talk) 22:11, 28 April 2021 (UTC)

JOBTITLES interpretation[edit]

A recent no-consensus close at Talk:Roman Catholic Bishop of Arundel and Brighton#Requested move 27 January 2021 has me wondering: how can six humans read MOS:JOBTITLES and come up with such polar-opposite interpretations? What should have been the outcome of this WP:RM? How can we rewrite MOS:JOBTITLES so that (1) it makes sense and (2) such disputes can be settled? Elizium23 (talk) 09:54, 13 February 2021 (UTC)

It should be that article titles & section headings are in capitalised form, IMHO. GoodDay (talk) 13:09, 13 February 2021 (UTC)
GoodDay, that would require additional consensus since it goes against every other usage of MOS:AT and MOS:HEAD. This is a narrow proposal. Elizium23 (talk) 13:29, 13 February 2021 (UTC)
Seeing section headings like "Vice president" or "Vice presidency", "Prime minister" etc? what a mess. On the article title part, we've already got the terrible looking Deputy prime minister of Canada named article, which should be Deputy Prime Minister of Canada. GoodDay (talk) 13:47, 13 February 2021 (UTC)
GoodDay, my question is not why the guideline is the way it is, my question is what is the guideline's interpretation? Elizium23 (talk) 13:50, 13 February 2021 (UTC)
Just pointing out that the guideline is a mess & doesn't have the consensus, it's often claimed to have. GoodDay (talk) 13:52, 13 February 2021 (UTC)
GoodDay: do you mean every article title and section heading? —El Millo (talk) 15:09, 13 February 2021 (UTC)
Examples: Prime Minister of Canada is correct, where as Prime minister of Canada would be wrong. Likewise, with section headings. GoodDay (talk) 15:36, 13 February 2021 (UTC)
Ok, you are just referring to titles and sections when it comes to job titles. I got scared there for a second. —El Millo (talk) 15:38, 13 February 2021 (UTC)
You're being led down a rat-hole. GoodDay is one of those who wants to capitalize these things at every occurrence no matter what the context is, and consensus is against this viewpoint whether GoodDay likes that or not.  — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  06:45, 14 February 2021 (UTC)
Should have resulted in lower-case bishop. This is the same case as in various other RMs ("List of lord mayors of Fooville") and other discussions.  — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  06:47, 14 February 2021 (UTC)
No, don't cap these items. Unless you want to talk about the town's Garbage Collectors. All or nothing, please, and the style guides say to minimise unnecessary capitalisation. Tony (talk) 00:26, 16 March 2021 (UTC)
Completely different situation. Garbage collector is a generic term. Roman Catholic Bishop of Arundel and Brighton is a post held by only one person at a time. -- Necrothesp (talk) 16:46, 17 March 2021 (UTC)
Completely faulty argument. Any given small town might have a single garbage collector, but that wouldn't magically make Chortleville Garbage Collector a proper-noun phrase when divorced from the individual's name. And if there's an office under the Roman Catholic Bishop of Arundel and Brighton that can exist in multiples, you can be that fans of capitalizing Roman Catholic Bishop of Arundel and Brighton will want to capitalize that one, too, despite not being unique; they'll argue strenuously to do it for "consistency" and because they're both "official" and yadda yadda yadda. Just, no.  — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  17:26, 3 April 2021 (UTC)

See also Talk:Deaths in 2021#Job titles, where @WWGB: is enforcing their own interpretation of JOBTITLES, so that we have 'prime minister' and 'president' of countries, which is ridiculous. Those kinds of political (and religious) roles should be capitalised. GiantSnowman 16:59, 17 March 2021 (UTC)

@GiantSnowman:, if 'prime minister' and 'president' of countries ... is ridiculous, then why does MOS:JOBTITLES provide for "prime minister of the United Kingdom" and "president of the United States"? WWGB (talk) 02:35, 18 March 2021 (UTC)
Yes, you are 100% correct, nothing on Wikipedia is wrong or silly and having piping that shows [[Prime Minister of the United Kingdom|prime minister]] is absolutely fine and normal. GiantSnowman 10:31, 18 March 2021 (UTC)
  • If I read the discussion right, the disagreement makes sense and isn't unexpected - it's just people disagreeing over whether the articles are eg. (Roman Catholic Bishop of Lindisfarne) - that is, a single atomic title with no modifiers, which falls under point 3 - or (Roman Catholic) (bishop) of (Lindisfarne), ie. the title "bishop" modified by the fact that they're a Roman Catholic biship and location they're a bishop of, which doesn't fall under point 3. Possibly another reading would be (Roman Catholic) (bishop of Lindisfarne). Any of these readings is at least notionally reasonable; the discussion, if it went into more depth, ought to have turned to people pulling up sources to show what the actual formal titles are. I have no idea, myself, if Roman Catholic Bishop of Lindisfarne is a complete, formal title or not, but that seems to be what the discussion hinges on under the current guidelines. --Aquillion (talk) 16:22, 19 March 2021 (UTC)
Aquillion, you are conflating two separate issues here: a) should “Roman Catholic” be capitalized? (This seems to be standard practice, so I would say yes)... b) should “Bishop of X” be capitalized? (My opinion is yes, as “Bishop of X” is a formal title). Placing them together is what gets you the very capitalized string “Roman Catholic Bishop of X”. Blueboar (talk) 16:44, 19 March 2021 (UTC)
I am talking about this discussion and why it broke down the way it did; it is solely about whether to capitalize "Bishop" in that context. At least by a strict reading of the guidelines, it is reasonable to say that while "Bishop of Arundel" is a formal title and falls under point 3 when used alone, "Roman Catholic bishop of Arundel" is a title preceded with a modifier ("Roman Catholic") and therefore doesn't fall under point 3, which specifically disallows applicability to modified titles. I don't know whether that's the correct reading, but Elizium expressed bafflement that discussions were split, so I was explaining what they split over; at a glance, it doesn't seem, to me, to be an unreasonable point of confusion. --Aquillion (talk) 05:31, 20 March 2021 (UTC)
And I am trying to point out that they are arguing about the wrong thing. The problem is that it isn’t solely about whether to capitalize “bishop”... it’s about whether to capitalize “Bishop of Arundel”. Once you add the “of X” (Duke of Wellington, Queen of England, Commandant of the Marine Corps, Bishop of Rome, Marquis of Salisbury, Mayor of the City of New York, etc) we are dealing with a formal title. I don’t see how adding a modifier (short, tall, blue-eyed, Anglican, Roman Catholic, etc) would change the fact that it is a formal title that should be capitalized.
If the debate were about capitalization in the sentence: “Smith was installed as a bishop in 1997” I would agree that the discussion should focus solely on the word “bishop” (and I would say use lower case)... adding a modifier (Roman Catholic) should have no impact on that determination.
However, in the sentence: “Smith was installed as Bishop of Placename in 1997” the discussion shifts. It is now a debate about whether we should capitalize the formal title “Bishop of Placename” (and I would say we should capitalize)... I don’t see how adding a modifier (tall, short, female, male, Anglican, Roman Catholic) changes that determination. The question remains: do we capitalize this formal title? Blueboar (talk) 13:01, 20 March 2021 (UTC)
To give a clearer example of what I am talking about, consider two almost identical sentences:
  1. William was the first king to hold his coronation in Westminster Abby”
  2. William was the first King of England to hold his coronation in Westminster Abby.
The modifier “first” does not impact the capitalization of “king” (not a formal title) in the first sentence, nor the capitalization of “King of England” (a formal title) in the second sentence. Blueboar (talk) 13:58, 20 March 2021 (UTC)
Except WP (and many others) will write "William was the first king of England to hold his coronation in Westminster Abbey", and there is no objective reason not to do so, only a subjective preference of some for "King of England". Virtually all style guides would have "King of England William I" or "King William I of England" or, perhaps with some defectors, "William I, King of England", because the title and the name are conjoined closely, with the title effectively being part of the name string (though the comma case is iffy). I'm not sure why it's so difficult for some editors to accept the fact that "the first king of England" vs. "the first King of England" is simply a stylistic choice, with both variants readily observable in RS, and WP has simply chosen "the first king of England". It's that way because it's consistent with our broad rule to not capitalize that which isn't effectively necessary to capitalize, itself just a derivation of a broader rule to not apply optional stylization unless doing so is near-universal in sources, for that particular subject. I mean, come on. At some point this just has to sink in. Please, after all this years, just absorb it and stop recycling this endlessly. We all know already that you don't like it. While it's tiresome to be re-re-re-reminded of it over and over again, the bare fact of it is okay. Everyone dislikes something about any given guideline, and there are no guidelines everyone likes everything about. But browbeating everyone for years about your dislike really isn't okay. PS: You keep saying that "Bishop of X" is "a formal title" and must therefore be capitalized, but a) it's not (there can be many Bishops of X – Roman Catholic, Anglican, whatever – and "Bishop of X" may not be the actual title of any of them, but a fragment of that title. But more importantly, even if it were the full formal title, that has nothing to do with whether WP should capitalize it when it's just floating by itself as a common-noun phrase. This really is simple: If it's fused directly to the person's name, capitalize it; if it's not, don't. The end. (Well, do watch out for incidental juxtapositions that are not fused, e.g. "Before he ran for president Donald Trump said ...", though a comma really belongs in there.) PS: Aquillion's breakdown above is correct, as linguistic analysis. What's missing is that the "don't capitalize unless doing so is near-universal for this particular case" maxim predetermines which interpretation to employ; if something can be reasonably lower-cased, then it will be.  — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  17:50, 3 April 2021 (UTC)

né, née, and gender binaries[edit]

Writing "Name (née Other Name)" has been criticized in the past as being unnecessarily pretentious when we have the perfectly-good and less-technical word "born" to use in place of the French loanwords. But there's another reason for criticizing "né" and "née": they are exclusively masculine and feminine (respectively), causing problems both for people who elect not to be addressed by gender-specific terms, and for people who wish to keep the past history of their gender private (in the face of a minority of editors who seem insistent on using whatever excuses they can find in MOS for forcing that information into Wikipedia articles). It's also not entirely clear to me whether, in current usage, most readers would interpret "née" as meaning "they now have this name, but they were born with that one" or whether they would assume more specifically that the name change came from a marriage, leaving us forced to use "born" anyway for other cases (such as childhood adoption name changes) to avoid confusion. Wouldn't it be simpler just to always use "born", for all Wikipedia biographies where the issue arises, and avoid all these issues? —David Eppstein (talk) 07:32, 14 February 2021 (UTC)

  • I'd be happy going with "born" on plain-versus-pretentious grounds even apart from gender issues. The problem of "née" potentially implying a name change due to marriage rather than any other cause is also worrisome (that's the only meaning given in the Cambridge online dictionary, for example). XOR'easter (talk) 18:34, 14 February 2021 (UTC)
  • This is nice and flexible as it stands: "Editors may denote this with 'born' followed by the subject's full name; they may also use née (feminine) and né (masculine) followed by the surname". If we forced everyone to use "born", we'd need to change (using the example given), "Courtney Michelle Love (née Harrison..." to "Courtney Michelle Love (born Courtney Michelle Harrison...", etc., which is repetitious. If the gender-specific nature of the words is a problem, then there's already the flexibility to use "born". If there isn't such a problem, then there's the flexibility to use "née" and "né". I see no good reasons to remove flexibility. EddieHugh (talk) 19:04, 14 February 2021 (UTC)
    • Is there a reason why we can't use "born" with exactly the same syntax as "née", followed by only the previous surname in cases where the rest did not change? It's not as if the literal meaning of the two words "born" and "né(e)" is any different from each other. —David Eppstein (talk) 22:18, 14 February 2021 (UTC)
  • Agree that “né” and “née” should be reserved for name changes due to marriage. Otherwise “born” works. Blueboar (talk) 19:09, 14 February 2021 (UTC)
  • Concur with the above folks. While I have occasionally encountered né[e] outside the marriage context, it's always jarring and seems like an error. While it can be found "in the wild", I don't believe it's normal English to use it more broadly.  — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  13:39, 23 February 2021 (UTC)
  • I agree with SMcCandlish that while né[e] is sometimes used for non-marital name changes, it doesn't seem to be the "normal" use / expected meaning (and seems, as David says, like a pretentious use of the word). I don't see a problem with it for marital changes, but also I don't object to dropping it and always using born if that's what people want. I agree with David there's nothing wrong with born + just a surname if there's a situation where only a surname is needed. We could revise the guideline like: "Editors may denote this with "born" followed by the subject's surname or full name; for name changes due to marriage, they may also use née (feminine) and (masculine) followed by the surname, provided the term is linked at first occurrence." (Or drop né[e].) Obviously OP is correct that we can't use né[e] to misgender someone, but this is covered by existing guidelines about using gendered terms that match someone's gender identity, and the existence of non-binary people for whom we'd use born instead of né[e] does not, in itself, seem like a reason not to use né[e] for other people. -sche (talk) 00:08, 24 February 2021 (UTC)
  • I support dropping "né"/"née" in favor of "born" in all situations. I don't think né is pretentious, it's just not widely understood, and our article leads are already difficult enough to read as it is. Kaldari (talk) 21:10, 5 March 2021 (UTC)
  • I’m a big fan of né or née when it comes to names (even though I’m not a fan of changing one’s name upon marriage, but hey that’s just me and most people do it) because it specifies exactly why the name was changed. You’re likely not gonna say Nikki Sixx né Frank Ferranna Jr. But Bill Clinton né Blythe, it makes perfect sense because he joined another family. To say its French origin is pretentious is childish. Are we going to stop saying fiancé / fiancée, because it’s French too? Trillfendi (talk) 21:24, 5 March 2021 (UTC)
    • "Finacée" is a strawman - nobody here is proposing to remove that, much more widely understood, word that doesn't have a single simple English equivalent ("intended", "betrothed" "husband/wife-to-be", "future spouse", etc all have issues). Thryduulf (talk) 04:35, 7 March 2021 (UTC)
Both are French loan words and obviously French uses gendered nouns... so how is it that one is pretentious yet the other is commonly accepted? Trillfendi (talk) 05:07, 7 March 2021 (UTC)
Why are you going on and on about being pretentious when the original point of this discussion was that genderedness was a better reason than pretentiousness for making this wording choice? If you know of a short non-gendered replacement for fiancé(e), I'd like to hear it. —David Eppstein (talk) 05:13, 7 March 2021 (UTC)
Genderedness and pretentiousness are entirely unrelated. As for why "né[e]" is pretentious but "fiance[é]" isn't, I don't know, but that there is a difference is not surprising given that there many thousands (at least) of words English has taken from French, each with their own shades of meaning, register, degree of acceptance, etc. Thryduulf (talk) 13:08, 7 March 2021 (UTC)
  • I fully support using "born" in all circumstances. I don't oppose using "né[e]" for marriage (only), but I do support it being discouraged in favour of "born" as the latter is the more widely understood word. I would strongly oppose edits just changing "né[e]" (when used for marriage-related changes) to "born" on the basis of this discussion though, make the change only when engaging with the specific article. "Né[e]" for changes unrelated to marriage though should (imo) be disallowed and actively removed when encountered. Thryduulf (talk) 04:35, 7 March 2021 (UTC)
  • "Née" is most certainly not pretentious and is the standard English word used when women change their name on marriage. We should continue to use it for that. "Born" should be used for every other name change. "Né" should not be used, as it is not a common word in English. -- Necrothesp (talk) 14:37, 11 March 2021 (UTC)
OK, based on this discussion, I intend to update the following sentence in the MOS soon to add the words I've underlined: "Editors may denote this with "born" followed by the subject's surname or full name; for name changes due to marriage, they may also use née (feminine) and (masculine) followed by the surname, provided the term is linked at first occurrence." Objections/support/other feedback? -sche (talk) 23:58, 14 March 2021 (UTC)
@-sche: I'd prefer to see something about "born" being preferred over ""/"née" and it being inappropriate to use on the article of anyone who is non-binary but other than that it looks good. Thryduulf (talk) 12:34, 15 March 2021 (UTC)
I mean, yes, you and I would prefer born over née, but as far as finding a wording that reflects the consensus here, it seems like the discussion above is evenly split between people who want born in all cases and people who support née in cases of marriage, no? I also don't know that this guideline needs to re-mention it being inappropriate to misgender people, does it? I mean, I'm not opposed to it, but isn't that covered by the general MOS:GENDERID? Are people actually trying to use née on nonbinary people or trans men on the basis of this guideline, and not being adequately rebutted by MOS:GENDERID? -sche (talk) 03:03, 16 March 2021 (UTC)
@-sche: if you'd like it no longer evenly split, I really don't like ne[e] (sorry can't do the accent on my computer). It unnecessarily mentions the person's gender, which - in addition to being potentially problematic in the case of trans people - isn't great in articles on women. Women's articles love to talk about how they're women for no apparent reason, and in my view this is just another way to do that. I don't think I've ever seen ne on WP but have frequently seen nee, implying that the rule is being applied unequally to men and women and contributes to WP's content bias. To answer your second point, I haven't seen this (to be fair, most of my edits are related to typos or {lang} tagging and not to checking articles for GENDERID violations), but I can see someone making the argument that because the gendering relates to the birth name, that the birth gender is the most appropriate, where the subject is notable under the previous gender (if they're not notable under that gender, such an editor would clearly have no leg to stand on). That'd be a shitty argument, but people love to deadname. Born also fits in better with MOS:GNL (which I'm guessing was developed off the back of the gender bias thing I mentioned, and is therefore technically not a new point but here I go anyway) than ne[e]. --Xurizuri (talk) 11:28, 27 March 2021 (UTC)
In many countries for hundreds of years women have changed their surname on marriage whereas men have not, so the use of a word in relation to women that is not commonly used for men is fairly obvious, is it not? This should be an example of common usage, both historically and mostly even still today, not being trumped by some PC agenda imposed by Wikipedia. It is not our job to change common usage. As an encyclopaedia, it is our job to reflect it. -- Necrothesp (talk) 11:46, 8 April 2021 (UTC)

Surname change[edit]

Sophie used to have the surname "Long", but changed it to "Xeon". This is useful biographical information, and to include it wouldn't be deadnaming because all surnames in English are gender-neutral (nearly all trans people don't change their surnames upon transition). I don't think this should violate WP:DEADNAME, and I reckon we should follow the standard set by Jack White and Courtney Love here and specify Sophie's old surname, which was well-known before Sophie transitioned. Thoughts? FreeEncyclopediaMusic (talk) 04:42, 11 March 2021 (UTC)

If a person changed their surname as part of changing their name during transitioning, DEADNAME doesn't restrict itself to first names, and I think that's reasonable: If the person wasn't notable under the former name, the surname is no more "useful biographical information" than the first name, whereas—as the guideline says—"the pre-notability name [is] a privacy interest separate from (and often greater than) the person's current name". If the person wasn't notable under the name, there typically won't be usable sources to find with it, so it seems like the main reason someone would want to know it is when trying to dox the person's full former name(?). (Or what?) (Conversely, if by "was well-known before Sophie transitioned" you mean she was notable under the surname, DEADNAME allows a person's notable deadname to be mentioned.) FWIW, looking at other cases where a person changed surnames as part of transitioning, de facto we currently don't list non-notable former surnames, at least in the cases I could think of to check (e.g. Fallon Fox). It's a rare situation to have, anyway; as you say, most people don't change surnames when transitioning. -sche (talk) 07:06, 11 March 2021 (UTC)
In cases of "gendered" surnames like Icelandic patronyms (which have suffixes based on the gender of the name's bearer) or families that as a compromise use the baby's sex to decide whose last name the child gets, and the transitioning individual changes to the surname they would've been given had they been assigned the opposite sex at birth, then I that should be considered part of the DEADNAME package. However I agree that changed surnames with no inherent gendering should be treated the same way whether the individual is cis or trans. Okieditor (talk) 17:39, 11 March 2021 (UTC)
Those aren't surnames, they're patronymics; don't mix apples and oranges.  — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  17:16, 3 April 2021 (UTC)
Also, think about a "converse" case where a trans person who changes their surname also changes the surname of their child(ren) to match the protocol of the trans person's identified gender. If said child(ren) has/have a Wikipedia presence then shouldn't they be given the DEADNAME treatment as well with respect to their birth surnames, since the underlying reason for the name change was a gender transition (in this case their parent's)? (Just like above IMO this should apply when a trans person changes to the last name they would've had if the opposite AGAB if different but not in other cases.) Okieditor (talk) 18:24, 11 March 2021 (UTC)
Another argument for my position: In many cases where an institution allows an individual to specify a preferred name (as a courtesy to both trans people and those who go by a name different than their legal first one for other reasons) use of one's legal last name is still often required. There are also cases, like a particular U.S. federal form that one must complete when starting a job, that was revised to ask only for previous last names rather than all previous names because of the disparate impact the latter had on trans employees. Both of these points reinforce the concept that given (first and middle) name changes vs. last name changes can be given different protocols based on the nature of each (and IMO that principle is even better than for example the controversial carve-out for trans-related name changes we have here on Wikipedia). Okieditor (talk) 19:17, 11 March 2021 (UTC)
What controversial carve-out? I'm afraid I am no longer following you. Newimpartial (talk) 19:20, 11 March 2021 (UTC)
I am talking about Wikipedia's current deadname policy, which is the source of many edit debates on here. While I agree that we should not post information that alludes to one's transgender status (such as a former given name that is indicative of such based on the customary usage of said name) unless necessary for practical identification, I feel that extending that to non-gendered surnames puts this into the realm of personal preference (which is unfair for example to cis people who may similarly change their surname to distance themselves from their past). Okieditor (talk) 19:34, 11 March 2021 (UTC)
The current policy reflected in MOS:GENDERID and MOS:DEADNAME has received extremely broadly-based support; it seems quite misleading to characterize the policy as the source of many edit debates - it would be the lack of awareness or lack of acceptance of the policy, on the part of a small minority of editors, that is responsible for the >{tq|debates}} IMO.
Futhermore, we have site-wide consensus to treat the DEADNAMES of trans people differently from other former names, and this principle currently applies to the entire name, including the surname. If some editors are motivated to change that policy, it would have to go to RfC and receive a similarly strong consensus. Newimpartial (talk) 19:38, 11 March 2021 (UTC)
I think I sounded a bit harsh there, and I apologize (I got that notion since on the talk pages of many transgender subjects this frequently comes up). I should note that the current policy is actually ambiguous about whether surnames are included in DEADNAME or not. On one hand the transgender policy does not mention "first" or "given" names specifically, but there is another section that says if the surname has been changed for whatever reason that should be included (if sourced of course). Since the spirit of this policy is to avoid articles that give undue weight to one's transgender status and/or sex assigned at birth, and was created because a transgender person's former given name typically conveys such, that it should NOT apply to non-gendered surnames. Furthermore, like I said, applying DEADNAME to all trans surnames opens the door for a cis person who similarly changed their last name for personal reasons to challenge it (since the justification for transgender given names does not apply to non-gendered surnames). Okieditor (talk) 19:59, 11 March 2021 (UTC)
The main rationale given for MOS:DEADNAME is actually the BLPPRIVACY interest living trans person has in their deadnames, and that interest most definitely includes all names, not only their gendered given names. The idea that the rationale for MOS:DEADNAME is limited to the potential for misgendering inherent in the deadname is, ahem, unsupported so far: if that were the case, for example, people whose deadnames were not clearly gendered (the Pats and Sams of the world, in English) would not be covered by DEADNAME at all, which is evident nonsense.
Also, while I haven't seen this discussed explicitly, presumably part of this BLPPRIV interest consists in not pointing readers directly to the non-notable deadname by means of the article text, at least. When the subject has changed their last name as part of a GENDERID name change, the spirit of this policy would be directly contradicted by including part of the non-notable deadname in the article. Newimpartial (talk) 20:10, 11 March 2021 (UTC)
To argue a point, if there is a cis person that had a name change, and their former name is not something they were notable for (such as the maiden name of a non-public figure for example, or the Eastern European name of WWII-era American immigrant getting an Americanized name on arrival), nor is it something well documented, then for the same reasons, we should not be going out to document that name as well, in line with BLP's privacy policy and in concert with DEADNAME even though that is not a "dead name". On the other hand, if we have a woman who had a significant career under their maiden name, gets married and takes their husband's name, we're not going to hide her maiden name even if she requests it of WP, just as we can't hide a DEADNAME of a transgender individual notable well before transitioning. It's a logical step here, just that I think the transition step requires more care and respect towards the individual in question (based on the RFCs) than compared to other ways individuals are renamed. --Masem (t) 20:08, 11 March 2021 (UTC)
I agree with that; however the protocol of not including a trans person's deadname - even if properly sourced, in contrast to most other name changes - IMO should apply only to what if included would be indicative of their gender status (in other words not inclusive of a non-gendered surname, in which the general rules on changed names should apply). Okieditor (talk) 20:14, 11 March 2021 (UTC)
And that is a proposed change that, given the widely expressed consensus for the status quo, would require a comparable RfC. Newimpartial (talk) 21:08, 11 March 2021 (UTC)
I don't see any policy-relevant reason to see different elements of a name (given name, middle names, surname etc.) as separate entities with differing privacy considerations. Names should be treated as a whole in all cases, IMO, which in the case of a deadname means that the policy addresses the entire name, rather than only the components that some editors consider to be gendered. Newimpartial (talk) 17:45, 11 March 2021 (UTC)
This. It doesn't matter which part was changed when they transitioned, since we're talking about reviewing the name as a whole. And in this case, there seems to be clear notability of "Sophie Long" prior to transition so it is not appropriate to remove that name. --Masem (t) 19:53, 11 March 2021 (UTC)

What is the meaning of this phrase, and should it be removed?[edit]

This phrasing doesn't make sense to me.

Treat the pre-notability name as a privacy interest separate from (and often greater than) the person's current name.

Comments invited on whether it should remain.

LK (talk) 03:14, 20 March 2021 (UTC)

It is obvious that non-notable deadnames produce a privacy interest greater than that of notable post-transition names, isn't it? Newimpartial (talk) 04:28, 20 March 2021 (UTC)
So, let me see if I understand you correctly. What you're saying is that, if we compared two different situations: a) A non-public figure who doesn't want their name publicized, or to be "outed", because they fear harassment or other threats. b) A person who has changed their name because of changing gender identity, and doesn't want their previous name known. We should consider b), more of a concern than a). Is that correct? LK (talk) 13:18, 21 March 2021 (UTC)
Those are not valid comparisons. First, the "current name" refers to someone who falls under this policy (ie. a living transgender or non-binary person); second, you introduced the possibility of harassment or other threats only to a, and made a a non-public figure, all of which add their own additional privacy interests which would apply equally to both their names. The point of the (and often greater than) clause is that all else being equal we are more cautious with pre-notability names of living transgender or non-binary people than we are with their current name, since there's more inherent possibility of harm from publishing pre-notability names, and little benefit to doing so. A valid comparison that accurately summarizes what this policy means would therefore be: a) A living transgender or non-binary person subject who doesn't want their current name (under which they are notable) publicized, or b) A living transgender or non-binary person who doesn't want their previous name (under which they were not notable) publicized. In that situation B is obviously generally going to be the greater privacy interest. --Aquillion (talk) 20:02, 24 March 2021 (UTC)
No... they are both of equal concern. In cases where a person was not notable under a previous name (deadname), we should respect their privacy... period. It does not matter what the motivation for keeping the previous name private might be, they have an expectation of privacy that needs to be respected. (This expectation of privacy is moot when they are already notable under the previous name). Blueboar (talk) 14:07, 21 March 2021 (UTC)

Since Newimpartial refuses to answer, unless there are other objections to removing the phrase, I will take it as consensus that the phrase should be removed. Per WP:SILENCE, silence implies consent. LK (talk) 12:50, 23 March 2021 (UTC)

Since when are three editors objecting to your proposal an example of WP:SILENCE implies consent? I assume you don't get out much, with that attitude. :p. Newimpartial (talk) 13:00, 23 March 2021 (UTC)
Just to inform you WP:POLITE is policy, and it is non-negotiable. Your interactions have significantly crossed the line of acceptable behavior. LK (talk) 07:32, 24 March 2021 (UTC)
It's the word "often" in that phrase that confuses me. As Newimpartial says above, it is obvious that a person's non-notable deadname has a greater privacy interest than their notable current name. I can't imagine a case where this wouldn't be true, so to say it is "often" the case is perplexing.--Trystan (talk) 13:17, 23 March 2021 (UTC)
There is no privacy interest in a public person's current name, if that name is already widely known. In the normal case, the person's current name is the title of the BLP. Thus, in the normal case, that sentence doesn't make sense, as there is no privacy interest about a publicly transgender person's current name. In the normal case, the current name should not be mentioned in the sentence.
However, consider the case where we have an article about a notable topic that significantly involves a non-public figure, who happens to be transgender. Or, consider an article about an anonymous transgender person, say Banksy (who could be transgender for all we know), who wishes their name to remain unknown. Or, an article about a person in law enforcement, who's current name, if exposed, would put them in danger. The desire for privacy – to keep their current name unknown – especially to prevent outing or violence, seems to me to be as important, or even more important than keeping their previous name unknown. Especially in the case of non-public transgender people, making their current name known – outing them against their will – is a very serious issue. To imply that keeping a pervious name unknown is even more important makes little sense to me. LK (talk) 07:32, 24 March 2021 (UTC)
1. Given the numerous RfCs on the matter, you can boldly edit but it will likely be reverted and need an RfC to resolve, though I think you would be editing against consensus already established in an RfC.
2. Non-notable birth/previous names have little reason to be mentioned in ALL cases, gender identity concerns or not.
3. Outing of a person by publishing non-public gender/sexuality/habits/etc was covered in a previous RfC and is a no-no. I am not sure of wikipedia policy about law enforcement but I would assume harm prevention covers them as well (or should if we never said it explicitly, we aren't Wikileaks after all)
4. I see no issue with the sentence. It reflects the consensus of the community. Slywriter (talk) 18:08, 24 March 2021 (UTC)
  • The text says often, not always; you seem to be misreading it as saying that their current name is never a privacy interest. In fact, in all the (extremely specific and unlikely) examples you listed, both their names would be covered by privacy interests, and I would argue their older name would often still be a higher one (it has all the concerns you mentioned and it is also their deadname), though it wouldn't matter so much at that point since both names would pass the threshold to be omitted. If anything, the fact that you had to hypothesize such extreme examples shows that the current text is good, since you required fairly dramatic justifications to omit their current name, while plainly no such justifications are needed for their pre-notability name - hence, the privacy interest of the deadname is often greater. --Aquillion (talk) 20:08, 24 March 2021 (UTC)
  • While I agree with Aquillion... I do think we could improve the sentence. I would suggest:
... a privacy interest separate from (and often greater than) other considerations.
This would include any privacy interest in the current name, but also things such as “the public has a right to know”... or “but this person has already been outed... WP is just reporting on it” (etc. etc.). Blueboar (talk) 20:34, 24 March 2021 (UTC)
  • At least remove "(and often greater than)". It's unnecessary editorializing, and obviously producing conflict and confusion, for no actual benefit anyone has demonstrated. Actually, it might even be more productive to just use "Treat the pre-notability name as a separate privacy interest.", since BLPPRIV outlines various kinds of privacy interest, and we need not recapitulate all of them here, nor dwell on one in particular.  — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  17:14, 3 April 2021 (UTC)

The sentence "The lead sentence should describe the person as they are commonly described in reliable sources."[edit]

The sentence "The lead sentence should describe the person as they are commonly described in reliable sources" has been in the section Positions and roles for some years. I believe it was first introduced in that section, and has never been moved nor objected to. It's main use, I believe, is to discourage people who want to describe their favourite singer as "singer, songwriter, musician, artist, poet, painter, model, actor, political activist, and philanthropist", arguing something like, "according to this magazine article, he donated $1000 to this school, therefore he's a philanthropist".

A bit more than a week ago, MapReader moved it to the top of the Opening paragraph section. I've moved it back, as I think it only applies to which roles to include in the lead sentence. I don't think it makes sense to apply the requirement "commonly described in reliable sources" to the other parts of the lead sentence (i.e. the person's full name - including birth name and spelling in birth language [as necessary], date of birth, and nationality. When first mentioning a person, newspapers and other RS often include the person's role, if the person is not well known, e.g. they state "the playwright John Smith stated that ..." They don't write, "the American playwright, John Roberts Smith Jr. (born July 15, 1965), stated that ....". Hence, I feel the sentence should stay in the section Positions and roles. LK (talk) 08:06, 24 March 2021 (UTC)

This didn't appear to be a controversial edit. The wording of the relevant sentence was not changed; as written it clearly applies to the lead sentence as a whole (otherwise it would have been written "position and role titles should...", noting that position and role titles should be referenced throughout an article - not just in the lead sentence - and therefore the words "lead sentence" can only logically be to underline the particular importance of making sure that lead sentences reflect the sources, and the sentence is simply in the wrong place), and its provision accords with the WP-wide requirement that our encyclopedia always follows the sources. The edit aligned this part of the MoS with the MoS provisions for the lead section, where it is clear that presentation should follow the sources - for example in the use of non-English titles. And it is self evident that details such as date of birth should be properly sourced. MapReader (talk) 09:14, 24 March 2021 (UTC)
I can see that when the sentence is repositioned it might be though to conflict with MOS:FULLNAME, as well. (There's quite often an editor who wants to add "and convicted felon", BTW.) William Avery (talk) 10:07, 24 March 2021 (UTC)
How about we create a new paragraph, at the beginning of the Opening paragraph section, that describes what should be in the lead sentence. Starting with "In general, MoS guidelines for the Lead Sentence should be followed". And then we split the list in that section into two lists. One for what should be in the lead sentence, and another for what should be in the rest of the lead paragraph. LK (talk) 16:16, 25 March 2021 (UTC)
  • Are we really quibbling about something being in the first sentence vs second or third sentence? Blueboar (talk) 18:57, 25 March 2021 (UTC)
I think the quibble is about whether the requirement that the lead sentence "should describe the person as they are commonly described in reliable sources" applies to only 'positions and roles', or to all parts of the lead sentence. LK (talk) 06:08, 28 March 2021 (UTC)
  • It should only apply to what it currently applies to and there should be consensus before changing the MoS. Eccekevin (talk) 01:56, 26 March 2021 (UTC)
  • The OP is correct. It was added to the section it was added to specifically to curtail tacking on descriptions for which subjects are not actually notable. The overall "how to write the lead" material is elsewhere (and see thread immediately below for revision discussions). But this particular line item should remain in this section is has been in all this time.  — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  17:09, 3 April 2021 (UTC)

She/they pronouns[edit]

I've come across this issue on two articles today:

Both individuals have expressed a preference for "she/they" pronouns. The articles currently use "she" consistently throughout in each case.

Since "she" is accepted, if not preferred, for both individuals, it seems that there's no reason to change the status quo. If the articles are to change, shouldn't we get consensus for a switch from "she" to singular "they" throughout the article, rather than mix-and-match? —C.Fred (talk) 00:25, 11 April 2021 (UTC)

If the subjects are comfortable with either of the two pronouns, it stands to reason to use the one which is more widely accepted and will cause less confusion among readers who may not be familiar with the singular 'they'. —El Millo (talk) 00:39, 11 April 2021 (UTC)
Absent good reason to butcher the English language, which does a good enough job itself, there is little reason to mix and match equally acceptable pronouns just for the sake of it. Slywriter (talk) 01:18, 11 April 2021 (UTC)
I don't think that singular "they" is inherently confusing, so long as it is explained on first use. I do think that mix-and-match would be unnecessarily confusing and that we should avoid that unless there were a very strong argument for it in a specific case. I'd say that the time to switch an article over to consistently using singular "they" is when either the subject makes it clear that they prefer it over the alternative pronoun or when the majority of our sources switch to using it in new writing. I agree with C.Fred in that I don't think there is any need to jump the gun in these cases although we should be willing to act promptly if either of them do express a clear preference for "they" in the future. --DanielRigal (talk) 01:38, 11 April 2021 (UTC)
Agreed on this point. When the subject of an article prefers "they" (Sam Smith (singer) is an example where we changed their article when they said they prefer "they"), then I'm all for that change. This is specifically for cases where the subject indicates two pronouns are acceptable. —C.Fred (talk) 11:09, 12 April 2021 (UTC)
I agree with DanielRigal, they is fine (it's been part of standard English for longer than singular you has) and per longstanding consensus-based guidelines we use it when it's the right pronoun to use, but iff she is also acceptable then it's fine to retain she. And in every case I'm aware of where someone accepts multiple pronouns, we only use one (e.g. Leslie Feinberg, Rebecca Sugar). Of course, this being a wiki, there may temporarily be counterexamples which mix-and-match: I know some IPs and new users have edited only small parts of Angel Haze or Janelle Monáe before, resulting in inconsistency, but my understanding is that that's undesirable. On articles like Mauree Turner and Rebecca Sugar, IPs and new users sometimes change all the pronouns to they, perhaps assuming all non-binary people use they, but overall and in discussions there seems to be a strong tendency to use she (or he) rather than they whenever both are acceptable. After getting consensus on her talk page I even changed Emma Sulkowicz's article from they to she when she said she accepted either, rather than WP:STABLE-WP:RETAIN-ing the they pronouns the article had long used, due to that tendency. (Certainly, we can mention that someone accepts either, though.) -sche (talk) 21:02, 11 April 2021 (UTC)
Agree with C.Fred (talk · contribs), since the commonly used pronoun "she" is not objected to, there is no reason not to follow the commonly used term. LK (talk) 03:23, 12 April 2021 (UTC)
Also agree. GiantSnowman 11:11, 12 April 2021 (UTC)
Yup, if there is no preference between she and they, the more common and less ambiguous pronoun of she should be used. Same would obviously apply for individuals neutral between he and they. Crossroads -talk- 03:48, 13 April 2021 (UTC)
This means time to go rewrite Jude Ellison Sady Doyle with "he" then, right? AJD (talk) 04:49, 13 April 2021 (UTC)
Twitter account says he/they, [1] so that's what I would do, but the personal life section needs updating. Crossroads -talk- 05:34, 13 April 2021 (UTC)

It's a good thing it's mostly just these hoity-toity pseudo-liberal "artist" types that are having a gas with pronouns and not actually interesting/important subjects. isento (talk) 05:37, 28 April 2021 (UTC)

Request for comment on categorisation of recipients of honours and awards[edit]

Are too many categories for recipients of state honours and awards being deleted? Please see Wikipedia talk:Overcategorization#RfC on WP:OCAWARD. -- Necrothesp (talk) 12:23, 15 April 2021 (UTC)

explicit nationality[edit]

Some clarity with regards to MOS:CONTEXTBIO: do we need explicitly-sourced evidence of nationality to call a person a demonym? Is it sufficient that their notable works were in that locale? For example, Yehuda Grunfeld has no cited place-of-birth or nationality, but was notable for his work in the US; as the article stands now, can we therefore call him an "American econometrician in the late 1950s"? — Fourthords | =Λ= | 15:13, 21 April 2021 (UTC)

Bumping my own topic in hopes of getting clarification. — Fourthords | =Λ= | 15:17, 29 April 2021 (UTC)

@Fourthords: Yes. A subject should be identified using the nationality or place of residence they held at the time they became notable. Skyerise (talk) 15:27, 29 April 2021 (UTC)

Categorisation of honours again[edit]

After many other categories for honours have been deleted successfully, attempts have apparently now begun to delete categories for British honours, which carry postnominals and are very widely used and known. See Wikipedia:Categories for discussion/Log/2021 April 25#Category:Knights of St Patrick. -- Necrothesp (talk) 15:12, 29 April 2021 (UTC)

And now they want to start deleting categories for recipients of gallantry awards. See Wikipedia:Categories for discussion/Log/2021 April 30#Category:Recipients of the Silver Star. -- Necrothesp (talk) 11:27, 30 April 2021 (UTC)

Some questions regarding the relevance of birth names of People who became notable after a name change.[edit]


I've noticed that the name change guidelines have become respectful of trans people and establishing guidelines that respects their being. However, some points that are brought up I think are interesting beyond the scope of just transgender people. After lightly reading through the archives I found discussions (sorry I'm new here so I don't know how to, or even if I can, link to said discussions) about how a birth name of a trans person isn't relevant if there was a name change before said person became notable and as such does not need to have their birth name established in the Lead or the Info-box. I think this is a good and rational idea and my question is why this isn't more accepted site-wide. For example, Jack White, the article which prompted my curiosity, has his birth surname listed both in the Lead and Info-box. This is peculiar to me seeing as Jack White became notable after his name change and I have a hard time finding any references that use the name "gillis" in any other context than referencing the fact that he was born as 'Gillis'. Perhaps that would indicate that said info is only relevant for the Early Life section and not necessarily the Lead and Info-box.

I also wondered if the respect of not deadnaming transgendered people so to not cause harm could be extended seeing as some people change their names due to 'bad' pasts. An imperfect example that comes from the top of my head would be Elton John who has expressed relief of changing his name due to bad memories associated with his birth name[1]. Now, Elton John has reconciled and doesn't seem to mind the discussion of his birth name currently, but is there a precedent if such wasn't the case? I also realise that Elton John changed his name some 4-5 years after his first commercial release (although he still released under Elton John). I mostly bring it up because he has been outspoken about his name change being more than simple 'preference' that is mentioned in the guidelines.

Is there also a standard for how to refer to people that have changed names? I notice that the entire Elton John article mentions him as 'John' and never as 'Dwight' whilst Jack White is referred to as 'Gillis' throughout the entire Early Age section, but not fully until the name change.

Thank you for reading and I hope my questions aren't too unbearable to answer.

NatKingCrosby (talk) 00:40, 30 April 2021 (UTC)

I think there is no specific policy associated with this, but MOS:IDENTITY kind of deals with this. Since no sources minus birth records mentions the deadlastname, it should be removed and replaced with his current last name: use the term that is most commonly used by recent[f] reliable sources. If it is unclear which is most used, use the term that the person or group uses. Additionally, if no WP:RS exist for the deadlastname, it should be excluded entirely. That's just my two cents on this. Casspedia (talk) 00:57, 13 May 2021 (UTC)

MOS:NICKNAMETHE sometimes goes against normal style[edit]

"A leading "the" is not capitalized in a nickname, pseudonym, or other alias (except when the alias begins a sentence)." This works sometimes (e.g. "I saw the Beatles in London") but other times it looks silly and goes against normal usage, e.g. The Game (rapper): "better known by his stage name the Game". Here it should be "his stage name The Game", and that is how you would find it anywhere outside Wikipedia. This is correct because we are mentioning the actual name as a name, and not talking about its referent. Compare "a band called The Beatles" (mentioning their name) with "a band called the Beatles" (meaning that a band contacted the Beatles by telephone). Equinox 19:44, 1 May 2021 (UTC)

I'm not seeing the distinction here, and I doubt readers will either; in fact, it's not a distinction I've ever seen used in any publication. I don't think the cap disambiguates your two use cases (called vs called) in a way that anyone will decode. Popcornfud (talk) 19:57, 1 May 2021 (UTC)

Merge from MOS:CAPS#Personal_names to MOS:NAMES[edit]

FYI – Pointer to relevant discussion elsewhere.

Please see Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style/Capital letters#Irrelevant text in Personal names and Place names sections.

Gist: Most of Wikipedia:Manual of Style/Capital letters#Personal names should merge to Wikipedia:Manual of Style/Biography (mostly to Wikipedia:Manual of Style/Biography#Names), because little of it pertains to capital letters in particular. It is leftover material from the merge-away of what was WP:Manual of Style/Proper names. Whiel most of the biography-specific material from MOS:PN did already end up in MOS:BIO, this part seems to have been missed.  — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  09:10, 3 May 2021 (UTC)

Name spacing discussion[edit]

Please come participate in the discussion at Talk:R. R. Virdi#Spacing in name. Thanks! ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe · Join WP Japan! 15:32, 12 May 2021 (UTC)