Excuse me, Sir
Aaron Kappel

The lack of gender-neutral honorifics and salutations in English is really frustrating. I don’t like being called Sir or Mister, even though, in my case, it’s preferable to Ma’am, Ms., or Miss. I understand that Mx is gaining ground in the UK, but I really prefer doing without honorifics altogether, and just being addressed by name.

In the case of strangers, of course, I can’t expect to be addressed by name. But I wish people would just say “Excuse me,” “Thank you,” or “May I help you” without tacking a gendered word onto the end of the phrase. I’ve had plenty of completely respectful interactions with sales clerks where no gendered words were exchanged, to the point that I’ve mentally kept track of places where I stand a good chance of shopping without my dysphoria being triggered. I realize that some people are required by management to use these these terms, but as you say, intention doesn’t matter. Misgendering still hurts.

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