I was at a conference this week, so I met some people who had never seen “Mx” before. There are probably more of you out there, so here’s a little more background.
The options used to be “Mr,” “Miss,” and “Mrs,” unless you had a gender-neutral title or honorific such as “Bishop” or “Dr.” Somewhere along the way, women wanted an option that didn’t put their marital status on display. They started using “Ms” as a feminine-gender option which, like “Mr,” could be used regardless of marital status.
In a similar way, some people have wanted a title that does not indicate gender. In particular, non-binary people (like myself) find choosing between “Mr” and “Ms” as difficult as choosing between the “Men’s” room and the “Women’s” room. We want another option.
“Mx” can be either gender-neutral (i.e. used for anyone) or a specifically non-binary option. It is typically pronounced like “mix.”
I lack clergy credentials but work with Reverends and Doctors and Deacons and so on. In church settings with a more formal culture, lay folk are often identified as Mr (first or last name) or Miss/Ms/Mrs (first or last name) to provide a parallel kind of respect for those without credentialing titles.
In my church, I have asked to be called “Mx Chris” in such formal moments, which serves as a subtle reminder of my non-binary gender identity, while lightly interrupting other assumptions people might make about me.
Compiled by Mx. Chris Paige on July 17, 2019.
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