July 21, 2011
Non-gendered titles see increased recognition
Banks, public bodies and other service providers have begun to accept the titles “Mx” and “Misc”, each of which may be used as a non-gendered alternative to the honorifics “Miss”, “Mrs”, “Ms” and “Mr”.
The Identity and Passport Service (IPS), the Royal Bank of Scotland, the Department for Work and Pensions, National Rail and the UK Deed Poll Service have all provided documents, letters and/or bank cards that address a recipient using “Mx” or “Misc”.
“We have been giving it quite a bit of thought and agree that a gender neutral title should be available to anyone who wishes to have one,” explained a spokesperson for the UK Deed Poll Service. “We now believe issuing deed polls with Mx as a new title will help force the issue with record holders who are reluctant to recognise the new title.”
The move was welcomed by Cassian Lodge, an advocate for the recognition of non-binary gender(s). “If you don’t feel like you want to do your own free deed poll, getting a document-with-title made by someone else is now an option for genderqueer people,” they said.
“My next step is to use evidence of this awesome step forward (along with the IPS evidence) to fully persuade people such as councils and banks that Mx and Misc are acceptable, and that non-binary people do exist.”
“Mx” and “Misc” are widely used by genderqueer individuals who wish to employ a title that does not denote their gender as female or male.
Anyone in the United Kingdom may change their name and honorific simply by announcing their decision to do so, although most organisations ask for a signed and witnessed statement to document the change.
A number of organisations and solicitors provide deed polls for a fee. However, it is possible for anyone to create their own deed of change of name.
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