One topic that I saw just recently is that some PoC feel uncomfortable with titles such as Master or Mistress. I can say that I never really looked at it in that manner, but yes, I can see that being a problem. While some are resistant to change, I have seen the vast majority my friends embracing the idea. It is an opportunity to make a welcoming place for others, and I am very much on-board.
Yes, it is one step, a first step for many, and hopefully we will be able to work to make additional changes as needed to welcome others into this weird world of the modern Middle Ages.
On a personal level, I never have the expectation that anyone remember my title, let be required to use it (though I am flattered if someone does). MOST Laurels that I know feel this way. Really. I know newcomers can be flustered by all the coronets or regalia or titles, but it is perfectly ok to ease into the in-game culture and we ALL forget (ALL the time).
It is OK.
So now I am actually enjoying the exploration I am seeing for alternative titles. A few friends are going to opt for Laurel (FirstName). That absolutely works, and might make for a safe new “general” title that anyone could use if they do not know the preferred persona-based title someone might use, but want to make a formal introduction.
For a new cultural based title I have been following conversations online, and have seen variants of teacher or professor and find that line of thought very appealing (I love teaching so very much). I sourced Laurel Fridrikr Thomasson (I am unsure of his chosen title), as he is a student of Old Norse, and he suggested Lærimoðir, which translates as “lore mother”. I LOVE this. Love it so much. I asked for the pronunciation and was told “lair-i-moth-er”, which is indeed awful close to the translation of Lore Mother that I wonder if just using that would be “ok”? Even more exciting was my discovery that it is already on an accepted alternative title list - http://heraldry.sca.org/titles.html#Viking%20Icelandic.
So yes, I can identify with this.
But the reality is, if you are shouting across a crowed room for me, the absolute best way to get my attention is to just call for Elf, because I will more readily respond to that than even my given name (especially in an SCA environment).