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Mx. Leah Velleman

Coder, linguist, singer, occasional blogger. See my Github profile or my résumé and how I build it.

My title is Mx.

Last update 30 Oct 2020

Mx is a gender-neutral title. It’s also neutral for age, for whether you’re married, and for anything else. Every human can use it.

If you would call someone else Mr Reed or Ms Flores, you should call me Mx Velleman in the same context.

Why?

Right now, in some publications, you can’t write someone’s name without announcing their gender. As an editor (and a queer person), I think that’s bad.

I mean, everyone who wants to announce their gender should do it. Using Mr and Ms and so on is fine with me. But you should also have the option to keep it to yourself, even if it’s a perfectly straightforward traditional gender with pronouns nobody yells at you about and so on.

And in particular, it should be possible to print someone’s name in a conference program, quote them in the newspaper, formally introduce them, and so on, without sharing more about their gender than they feel like sharing.

Which means as long as there are style guides demanding titles, we need a neutral title.

But you’re an editor! Isn’t this incorrect?

Style guides are made by humans. We can change them to serve human goals.

Why don’t you use Dr?

If there’s one thing worse than requiring everyone to reveal their gender, it’s letting people opt out only by an incredibly expensive, racist, and humiliating process.

But my editor won’t allow it!

If I were queen of the world and could make arbitrary demands, I would require people writing about me in this position to choose between Mr and Ms by a fair coin toss.

(The actual answer is “ask your subject what they would prefer.”)