For the first time in decades, driving licences and other official documents will offer an alternative title designation for the transgender community and any individual who does not wish to identify with a particular gender.
The gender neutral title “Mx” will now be an option alongside “Mr, Mrs, Miss and Ms”, reports The Sunday Times. It has also been added to many university databases and will be accepted by the Royal Mail, several high street banks and government departments.
Mx is also being considered by the Oxford English Dictionary for inclusion in its next edition. For the transgender community, this is a big deal. It’s the first time in recent history that a change has been made to commonly used and accepted titles to officially recognise those who don’t consider themselves wholly male or female.
Public bodies accepting Mx include the Department for Work and Pensions, HM Revenue and Customs, the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency and the NHS.
The change has been in the works for a couple of years without being public knowledge. The Royal Mail first introduced Mx as an online registration option two years ago, in response to customers’ requests. Brighton and Hove city council adopted the title for its transgender population in 2013, as part of its response to a wider report by the council’s trans-equality panel into services for those who didn’t wish to identify as male or female.
Oxford University introduced the title last year, explaining that it is “the most commonly used and recognised gender neutral title.” Birmingham, Cambridge and Portsmouth Universities have followed suit.