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Dahling!

Minerva Jayne Sep 5, 2018 4:00 AM

Dear Minerva,

I travel a lot for my job, and get greeted with a formal greeting like "Hello Mr. Smith. Welcome back to the hotel." It got me thinking, if I didn't identify as male or female, what would be the appropriate greeting other than Mr. or Ms. for a non-binary person?

—Sincerely, Meet and Greet

Dear Meet And Greet,

Greetings are important, and I know people who can't stand the formality so often present, while others demand it. Most of the time, these little greetings are taken for granted. An easy answer on an appropriate way to greet people would be to greet them in an open-ended way. Introduce yourself first and then allow them to introduce themselves how they see fit. If you opt to greet someone based on how they present visually, they may correct you and ask to be addressed in a different way. Don't take it as a scold or as them being offended, but as guidance and a polite way of approaching the subject. The important thing is that both parties need to take part in the process, especially since issues around gender are very much a part of our cultural conversation. Neither party should come at a greeting ready to "out" someone or ready to be offended. Ultimately we are all human and there is no shame in that. As someone whose preferred pronouns are dahling/dahling, if all else fails, ask yourself, what would Zsa Zsa do? Good luck dahling!

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