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A gender neutral title is a title that does not indicate the gender of the person being formally addressed, such as in a letter or other communication, or when introducing the person to others. By comparison, the traditional honorifics of Miss, Mrs, Ms and Mr all indicate the binary gender of the individual.
The newer term "Mx" avoids specifying gender for:
- persons who wish not to indicate a gender (binary or otherwise)
- persons for whom the gender is not known
- persons whose gender identity does not fit the gender binary
Honorifics are used in situations when it is inappropriate to refer to someone only by their first or last name, such as when addressing a letter "Dear Mx Jones" or when introducing the person to others. Activists, supporters and others are working toward awareness and acceptance of alternative honorifics including Mx.[who?]
Gender neutral titles
Mx is a title commonly used by non-binary people as well as those who do not identify with the gender binary, which was first written about in the 1970s. Among all other gender neutral titles, Mx is the most commonly used one and is accepted by government and other organisations throughout the UK.[who?]
The "x" is intended to stand as a wildcard character, and does not imply a "mixed" gender. Pronunciation of "Mx" is not yet standardized; it is frequently pronounced "mix" but sometimes with a schwa as "məx", or even as "em-ex".
Misc or sometimes 'misk' is another gender title pronoun. The word is derived from the Latin word miscellus, meaning “mixed,” following the rationale that a lot of non-binary people would say that they have aspects of various genders at various times.[clarification needed]
Ind, which stands for Individual, is a newly created gender neutral title. This title may be more appropriate for those who do not feel Mx meets their gender neutral standards, as Mx can sometimes be taken to stand for "mix". Ind was created to be free of gender, entirely, thus making it a better option for agender and gender nonconforming persons.[clarification needed]
- "Now pick Mr, Mrs, Miss, Ms . . . or Mx for no specific gender". The Sunday Times. 3 May 2015. Retrieved 4 May 2015.
- Olivia Goldhill (11 May 2015). "What's it like to be a Mx?". The Telegraph. Retrieved 1 January 2016.