By Sarah Brookes
HILLS musician Margaret Jones is welcoming Oxford Dictionary’s inclusion of the gender neutral prefix Mx, which has seen the term used by people of mixed gender propelled from the underground into the mainstream lexicon.
Mx Jones has used the title Mix, short for mixture, since 2002.
“It was probably around 2001 when I heard that an intersex person in Victoria was using it,” Mx Jones said.
“For over a decade I’ve had most of my bills addressed to Mx Margaret including credit cards, tax bills and bank statements.”
But Mx Jones said the dictionary needed to better establish the meaning and potential use of Mx.
“The online definition seems to be saying a person can use Mx when filling out a form if they don’t want to reveal whether they are male or female,” Mx Jones said.
“But the whole point of coming out as a transgender or intersex person is to reveal your true gender status and make it quite explicit.
“It’s about being open and truthful, not secretive or deceitful.
“The Oxford Dictionary’s definition is tantamount to a denial of the existence of any other gender besides male or female.”
Mx Jones said Mx would likely only be used by people who were of mixed gender.
“That is, some type of transgender or intersex identity, however difficult to define or however loosely defined those may be.
“As far as I can tell, over the last fourteen years the only people who have been using Mx or Mix are intersex and transgender people with some broad similarities to myself, who, far from trying to conceal their gender, are trying to make it clearer.”
Mx Jones said it was important people like her had a title like Mx for use in official forms.
“Very often you can’t open an online account without specifying a title or at least a gender.
“This forces us to lie. If we put either male or female we are lying.
“This can cause some real-world problems as well as emotional difficulties.
“At the very least it’s an injustice.”
Mx Jones said the use of Mx had personally been an excellent choice.
“The sky has not fallen in and not once have I encountered a problem with it, apart from computer operators who find their software is just a bit too binary.
“Many years ago I even had someone from Telstra phone me right out of the blue from the other side of the continent to ask me all about my use of Mx.”