South African University stops Gender Titles to support Transgenders and Queens

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Wits University in South Africa is removing gender prefixes in communications with students to promote inclusivity for members of the LGBTQI community.

The proposal for the reformation began earlier this year, advocated for by the sexual orientation and gender identity advocacy at the institution.

“We’re removing all titles from individuals and student body and if you want to specify your title you can go on to our self-service website and pick a title that that works for you,” said Tish Lumos, programme coordinator: sexual orientation and gender identity advocacy at Wits, said on a radio show.

“We’ve tried to do away with a system that punishes and marginalises.

The university says while it cannot change legal documentation, the move will allow students to be referred to in a manner consistent with their own identities.

“Whilst we can’t change a name on legal documentation. In university communication, we are 100% in support of you specifying what title you want.

“Addressing somebody by a particular name or title are intrinsically affirming for people who are transgender or gender non-conforming or gender queer.

“It makes you part of the university culture if you feel you are visibly appreciated and respected.”

‘Mx’, the gender-neutral title, which is widely recognised in many countries across the world, is becoming increasingly popular.

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