Trans* Jersey has been contacted by the Social Security Department to let us know that Mx has now been included as a gender neutral title option in their computer systems. This is good news for all those who identify as in between the simple binary of man or woman.
The department have issued the following statement about the change: “Transgender people in Jersey will be protected against discrimination from September this year and so this is an appropriate change for the Department to make to ensure that our customers are addressed by us as they wish to be addressed.
“We do not know yet whether any other States Departments intend to make a similar change.
“We have not changed the title options on any of our forms as this would require a much bigger piece of work, but it may happen in the future.”
They have also issued the following guidance to their employees:
What is Mx?
Mx is the most commonly used title that does not indicate gender (i.e. instead of Mr, Mrs, Miss etc) and it may be used by people who do not identify as either a man or woman. It may be pronounced as ‘mux’, ‘mix’ or ‘mixter’. Mx has been adopted by many major national institutions in the UK and is a permitted title option for the DWP, DVLA, HMRC, NHS, Identity and Passport Service, Post Office, some local city councils and banks, universities and utilities companies.
What this means for the customer
A customer may request that their title is recorded in our systems as Mx. If a customer requests this, you simply make the change. We do not need any details or explanation of why this is the customer’s preference. You should never make assumptions or offer this option to a customer if they have not requested it.
When a customer makes this request, it would be appropriate for you to explain the extent to which Mx will be used in our correspondence with them in the future, i.e. letters and cheques.
Transgender Basics is a 20 minute educational film on the concepts of gender and transgender people. Two providers from The Center’s Gender Identity Project (GIP) discuss basic concepts of gender, sexual orientation, identity and gender roles. Three transgender community members share their personal experiences of being trans and genderqueer. The film targets service providers and others working with the LGBT community, but it also provides a fascinating glimpse into gender and identity for the general public. “Our culture likes to make things simple, and gender isn’t.” Carrie Davis, Transgender Community Organizer, in Transgender Basics.
Trans* Jersey supports the proposal that gendered language in marriage ceremonies should be optional and that an X marker on passports and birth certificates should be introduced. Both these issues are most important for genderqueer, androgynous, bigender and intersex individuals.
The UK charity GIRES offers further explanation of this issue as follows:
Those that are outside the gender binary are not protected under ‘gender reassignment’ as they do not intend to undergo gender reassignment or have any medical treatment.
It is accepted that those with gender dysphoria, who wish to change their social gender role on the basis on non identification with the assigned gender at birth, can do so. Those that do not identify with the birth recorded gender (or the alternative gender) and have no wish to adopt the opposite gender role have no mechanism either to gain protection under the 2010 Equality Act or obtain appropriate ID. Their often ambiguous physical appearance can cause issues when travelling. Passports can be issued to a transitioning person in their non birth recorded gender even without GRC. The Passport Office has the option of the marker “X” to denote other than male or female but refuses to use this despite it being an international convention. Alas a recent Passport Office report ignored the evidence and determined that there was no call for the X marker. The non gendered community are thus excluded from full civil participation.
The 2010 Equality Act “gender reassignment” characteristic should be widened to include those outside the gender binary. The 2004 GRA should be broadened to include an assessment of applicants who wish to have a Birth Certificate reissued with an X (or sex not recorded). Passports should be made available with the X marker irrespective of the Birth Certificate to ensure consistent treatment of all those with “gender dysphoria”.
Trans* Jersey will be responding to the States of Jersey’s consultation on the next phase of the island’s anti-discrimination legislation to ensure that trans* individuals are not excluded from the protections offered by Jersey’s equivalent of the UK’s Equality Act.
Trans* Jersey is currently undertaking research to find out whether Jersey’s passport office have the option to use the X marker as the UK passport office does, and whether it also refuses to do so.