Gender-neutral title

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A gender neutral title is a title that does not indicate the gender identity, whatever it may be, of the person being formally addressed. 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, 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.

These titles are used to avoid specifying gender for:

  • persons who wish not to indicate a gender (binary or otherwise)
  • persons for whom the gender is not known
  • persons whose biological sex is not on the gender binary (intersex)
  • persons whose gender identity does not fit the gender binary[1]

Activists, supporters and groups such as the Trans Educators Network, The Trevor Project, and GLAAD are working toward awareness and acceptance of alternative honorifics, including Mx.[2][3]

Gender neutral titles[edit]

Mx[edit]

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.[4][5]

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".

Ind.[edit]

Ind, which stands for individual.[6]

M[edit]

M is the first letter of most gendered titles, both masculine and feminine. The title "M" simply removes the following letters that would designate gender.[6]

Other titles[edit]

Dr, referring to one who has obtained a PhD, MD, or other doctorate-level degree. While not available for all, many nonbinary people who have achieved such schooling prefer to use this title as it does not inherently indicate any one gender

Mre, short for the word "mystery", Pronounced "miss-tree".

Msr, a combination of "Miss", a feminine title, and "Sir", which is typically masculine.

Pr, short for the word "person"[6], Pronounced "per".

History[edit]

Origins[edit]

"Mx" was first used in print in 1977, and it is unknown whether there was spoken usage before that.[7] There is some confusion surrounding when Mx became a common way for persons to prefer to be addressed, however, there have been numerous cases of Mx in print from 1977 up until the early 2000's, when usage became more popular.[8] The Oxford and Merriam-Webster English Dictionaries added Mx in 2015 and 2016, respectively.[7][9]

Professional/military titles[edit]

In many cases, gender-non-conforming individuals have used professional titles such as Captain, Doctor, or Coach to avoid gendered titles. This practice is seen in the media, frequently in the case of women attempting to avoid the discrimination associated with femininity in professional settings.[citation needed]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "A Gender-Neutral Honorific". www.merriam-webster.com. Retrieved 2021-04-01.
  2. ^ Savage, Rachel (2021-01-21). "White House website adds gender-neutral pronouns as Biden meets LGBT+ demands". Reuters. Retrieved 2021-04-01.
  3. ^ "Ms., Mr., or Mx.? Nonbinary teachers embrace gender-neutral honorific". NBC News. Retrieved 2021-04-01.
  4. ^ "Now pick Mr, Mrs, Miss, Ms . . . or Mx for no specific gender". The Sunday Times. 3 May 2015. Retrieved 4 May 2015.
  5. ^ Olivia Goldhill (11 May 2015). "What's it like to be a Mx?". The Telegraph. Retrieved 1 January 2016.
  6. ^ a b c "Gender Neutral Titles and Why They Matter | Equality Institute - Empower Your Team to Lead With Inclusion". Equality Institute. Retrieved 2021-01-26.
  7. ^ a b "A Gender-Neutral Honorific". www.merriam-webster.com. Retrieved 2021-04-01.
  8. ^ themself, Nat (2014-08-28). "When was the Mx gender-inclusive title created?". Practical Androgyny. Retrieved 2021-04-01.
  9. ^ "Gender-Neutral Title Mx Added to Oxford English Dictionary". www.out.com. 2015-08-27. Retrieved 2021-04-01.