Style rule changes from the AP, New York Times, Washington Post begin to accommodate gender-neutral options

A few big changes announced in the last few weeks accommodate gender-neutral language: The Washington Post will allow “they” and “their” as singular pronouns, The New York Times used “Mx.” as a gender-neutral honorific, and the AP added a new entry to the stylebook on the use of “cross-dresser” instead of “transvestite.” Merrill Perlman writes that these changes represent changes in our language to become more sensitive and socially conscious when dealing with these issues, but writers and publications will still need to make decisions on a case-by-case basis on what terms to use and when. Perlman’s advice: “Never assume what pronoun someone wants. Just ask — though avoid the ones audiences might not be familiar with, like ‘zhe.’”