If you have ever had to tick off the word “Other” when choosing a gender in papers or official forms, you probably might have asked yourself what the hell that “Other” even means. And if you’re one of those who wish there is another way that people can address you rather than awkwardly being called “Miss,” “Mister,” “Ma’am,” or “Sir,” the heavens have heard you. Well, a dictionary company did.
Merriam-Webster officially added a gender-neutral honorific for those who “…do not identify as being of a particular gender, or for people who simply don’t want to be identified by gender.”
'Mx.' is a gender-neutral honorific for those who don't wish to be identified by gender. It's now in the Unabridged. https://t.co/CwBZchLgGh
— Merriam-Webster (@MerriamWebster) June 12, 2016
The word, which has only recently become popular, first appeared in a 1977 issue of an American magazine called Single Parent. It isn’t used as an official title globally yet, but it is already recognized and adopted in the United Kingdom.
Mx. is pronounced to sound like mix or mux and is now frequently used on various official forms, including driver’s licenses and banking documents in the UK. Like any other honorifics, it is also styled without the period in British English.
Although Mx. is not yet widely recognized, it’s about time that gender neutrality gets a much-deserved place in the pages of our dictionaries and, more importantly, in common courtesy.
Gender does not define our whole being. Wherever you may be on the spectrum and whether you identify as straight, bi, gay, queer, or trans, we are all human beings. We are all equals. And as such we all deserve to be recognized and respected for who we are.