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The Mx Pronoun: Why Justin Vivian Bond Identifies As 'Mixed Gender'

11/11/2015 02:31 EST | Updated 12/21/2015 02:59 EST

Justin Vivian Bond is an acclaimed American performance artist who was born male but doesn't identify as a man or a woman.

Bond grew up in Hagerstown, Md., on the border between the suburbs and a farming community.But the 52-year-old knew from a young age they didn't identify with their assigned gender and now uses a pronoun that more accurately reflects them.

"Mx for 'mixed' — kind of not a 'Mr.' or 'Ms.' — it's literally what I am: mixed," says Bond. "Now, the one I prefer — and it's becoming more popular — is 'they', 'them', or 'they're'."

The artist sat down with the producers of the AOL series, "Park Bench" to talk about growing up mixed gender and challenging social norms.

"Every time someone would try to apply what rules were for girls and what rules were for boys they were never able to articulate why that was supposed to make sense to me," says Bond.

"So I would nod and do what I wanted to do until I got in trouble."

Watch the videos above to hear the full story.

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