Mx.

Mx. (Pronounced “Mix”) is an honorific, like Mr. or Mrs, except it is gender neutral.

As the start to my first full year of teaching creeps ever closer (or rather it races unfathomably quickly towards me…seriously this must be an olympic record for time passing) I have to face some major logistical decisions. Namely, I have to decide on what name and pronouns I will use with students.

This feels like a huge decision for a few reasons:

  1. It determines how my students and new colleagues will know and refer to me
  2. It determines what type of non-binary/queer representation I am going to be for my students. Am I going to be out and proud as a non-binary person? Am I going to be vocal? Am I going to let it be a minor part of my identity and focus on mathematics?
  3. If I choose not to use Mr. and he/him pronouns, it means coming out yet again to my family and friends. And I am afraid that they will see that as me changing my mind or rushing into a decision, instead of seeing this as me more deeply understanding myself and my gender. Insert something about gender being a journey and not a destination here.

All of my being warns me that asking for people to use they/them pronouns, or to use Mx. as my honorific, will be a major inconvenience for everyone involved. I really struggle asking for things in general. To ask for this curtesy, this recognition, this respect, feels like a lot.

But I have to trust it will be worth it. It’ll be worth it to feel seen and validated in my queerness, my non-normativeness, by those around me. It will be worth it to help my students see whats possible for them too.

2 thoughts on “Mx.

  1. I just attended a zoom entitled “Clinical Work with Gender Diverse Persons”. I continue to learn so many things that I did not realize or think about previously. One thing the person running the program said is that she wishes to change the term “coming out” to “inviting in”. It is a gift when someone invites you in to their thoughts about their identity. I see this blog as an invitation and appreciate you including me. This process is a journey. I will call you with the pronouns you feel most comfortable with. As before – it will take some time for me to get it right – but it is very important to me that I address you the way you want to be addressed. These anxieties and weights you carry are so much more than the average person because of not being able to seen for who you are. Or fear of judgement or criticism. I wish I could take that burden from you. You are my child and you were always wanted. I am so proud of you. You will make an amazing parent. (you already are an amazing parent to Zeke and Circuit) You will make an incredible spouse, and I can see that you are a wonderful teacher. I hope you will continue to communicate with me about this. I want to get this right. You are so important to me.

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