90 Year-Old Woman Fired from Volunteer Position She Held for 60 Years for Asking What Pronouns Meant (Video)

90-year-old Fran Itkoff/Facebook

Fran Itkoff, 90, has volunteered for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society (NMSS) for over 60 years.  But after expressing confusion and asking “what pronouns meant,” she was forced to step down from the organization.

Itkoff, who lives in California, is a Lakewood/Long Beach Self-Help Group leader. She was allegedly asked by an unnamed worker at NMSS to use her preferred pronouns. Itkoff replied that she did not understand the request.

Itkoff spoke with Libs of TikTok, sharing, “I was confused. I didn’t know what it was and what it meant,” she said.

“Because it sounds like you are labelling for females, not males, if you are just putting in she/her.”


She then received an email telling her her organization would no longer be affiliated with NMSS for her “failure to abide by our Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion guidelines.”

The Washington Examiner reports:

“We appreciate your dedication and contribution as a Self-Help Group Leader with our organization. As we discussed earlier during a phone conversation, after a thorough review of our guidelines and standards, it has come to our attention that there has been a failure to abide by Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion guidelines during your time as a volunteer,” the email to Itkoff read.

The email continued, “Unfortunately, based on the situation, we have made the difficult decision to have you step down from your volunteer position, effective immediately.”

Itkoff had been volunteering for 60 years at the MS Society and previously, her husband, who had MS before he died 20 years ago, had run the Long Beach Lakewood MS support group, which she took over to honor him.

The charity doubled down on the decision saying in a statement posted to X:

For more than 75 years, the National Multiple Sclerosis Society has advanced one bold vision—a world free of MS. Through thousands of volunteers, dedicated staff, and generous donors, we live that vision every day. We welcome anyone to join us to advance that mission. As an organization, we firmly believe that we best serve and support those living with MS by creating a space that welcomes all. This is especially true for self-help group leaders, who are responsible for leading meetings for people affected by MS to confide in and support one another. Recently, a volunteer, Fran Itkoff, was asked to step away from her role because of statements that were viewed as not aligning with our policy of inclusion. Fran has been a valued member of our volunteer team for more than 60 years. We believe that our staff acted with the best of intentions and did their best to navigate a challenging issue. As an organization, we are in a continued conversation about assuring that our diversity, equity and inclusion policies evolve in service of our mission, and will reach out to Fran in service of this goal.

The organization, facing intense backlash, turned off the comments on the statement.

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