Charlie the Charger: Admission’s token nonbinary icon


We all know that the queer population at the University of New Haven is vast, yet somehow, despite our overpowering ratio, we tend to be underrepresented. In recent light, the university has displayed their allyship to the community by presenting students with a new, genderqueer mascot: the beloved Charlie the Charger.

Charlie’s bronze figure has been a staple addition to campus since March of 2020, and stands tall just beyond the doors of the Beckerman Recreation Center, basking in the light of the blazing Connecticut sun. When observing his figure, most people wouldn’t care to notice Charlie’s apparent lack of genitalia, but the Office of Admissions has been quick to clarify.

On Jan. 23, the @unewhaven Instagram posted about the Charlie statue in the snow, and in the caption, wrote “maybe the cold never bothered them anyway?”

Charlie’s usage of they/he pronouns exemplifies the normalization of using two sets of pronouns. Gender is a binary, and Charlie lives their life all across it.

As Charlie is a nonbinary horse, admission’s has identified the opportunity to make him the face of LGBTQ+ pride at the University of New Haven.

Being the university’s mascot, they could be strutting proudly across the GayWay crosswalk, passing by the university’s admission office, and really pulling in the girls and the gays to yassify the university at new levels. However, he recently spoke about the struggles he has faced as such a figurehead.

Upon returning to campus last semester, Charlie met Emerson, the polar bear who stole his heart. The star-crossed lovers were first seen together on Oct. 31, when the university’s Instagram took it upon themselves to share a photo of the couple captioned, “Looks like Charlie the Charger has a new boo.”

While people in the comments were a huge fan of the pair, Charlie spoke about how they received internal backlash from the Office of Admissions for the affair.

Charlie also discussed the issues that arose as a result of the forced outing of the pair on university’s social media posts.

“I had planned on using this year’s Pride Month to come out to the university community,” said Charlie. “I wanted to speak out in an empowering way, and our social media team swept that away from me, right out from under my hooves. They said, “It’s totally not cool that they decided to exploit my identity for some clicks, especially when my mane wasn’t even at its best.”

Charlie also explained that when they told the University that their pronouns were “he/they,” they were forced to wear a pronoun tag labeled “he/neigh” instead. “More ‘palatable’ they said, more like pandering,” Charlie said.

“Talk about tokenizing,” said Emerson as they held Charlie’s hoof in comfort during the interview.

Since these issues have surfaced, the @unewhaven Instagram account manager has been fired. In place, Emerson, the polar bear, now runs the school’s official page. (Go boost the recent content; they are trying to save up for a proposal to Charlie). The couple has allegedly U-Hauled into an RA suite on the second floor of Celentano Hall, so, if you ever hear shrill neighing erupting at ungodly hours, remember that nobody asked for the walls to be this thin.