For as long as we can remember, the world’s population has been easily identifiable by one of four prefixes to their names. Namely, “Mr,” “Ms,” “Miss” or “Mrs.” Forget the obvious link between a woman’s marital status and her societal perception for a minute though, and focus on the ubiquitous question on everybody’s tongue these days—what about the in-betweeners? What about those individuals who don’t fit neatly into any of these big boxes and little labels? Well, for the gender fluid, there’s been a lot of progressive change off late and Hyderabad’s NALSAR university just emerged as champions for the cause.
" 'Mx.' is an honorific that does not disclose the gender of the person it is used for. Those who do not gender identify, or those who do not wish their gender to be discernible from the way in which they are addressed prefer to use it. I asked the NALSAR administration to use Mx. because I did not see any reason why my transcripts or academic records needed to carry markers of my gender identity, especially given that I am still uncertain as to how I wish to identify."
even called me up to check if I would like the change to be reflected in other certificates, and what pronouns they should use instead of 'she' (most commonly, 'ze' or 'they', in case you're wondering)!”
“We as a university of law, under a progressive vice chancellor, interpret rules in harmony with social and scientific understanding. It is due to this perspective that the request of the student was accepted by the exam department as a matter of fact everyday decision. Our progressive approach has helped us take this small step to recognise gender fluidity and self identification.”
“at one level, this is all rather superficial.”
And having rhetoric in place can go a long way in changing the practical reality on ground. As far as we’re concerned, Mx is as good a place to start as any in a country that still criminalises homosexuality.
[Read Mx. Mukherjee's analysis of the NALSA verdict of 2014 that recognized a third gender.]