A WA health insurance company has become the first in Australia to recognise customers who identify as gender neutral, offering a the title Mx for those who do not want a traditional title such as Miss, Mr, Mrs, Dr, Prof or Rev.
HIF managing director Graeme Gibson said the insurer’s decision was made following feedback from members of the LGBTI community.
Being able to identify as neither male nor female is becoming more widely accepted here. The Australian Passport Office already allows Australian citizens to identify themselves on their passports as M, F or X. This year’s census was the first to offer a third gender category.
Overseas in particular, the term Mx, pronounced “mux”, is growing in use.
In the UK, the honorific Mx is accepted in government departments, banks, universities and driving licences. And as of last year, British members of parliament are allowed to be sworn in to the House of Commons under the gender-neutral title.
The Oxford English Dictionary added Mx to its official lexicon last year, saying it wanted to reflect “today’s more thoughtful conversations about gender identity”. Its official definition is:
"Mx (noun): a title used before a person’s surname or full name by those who wish to avoid specifying their gender or by those who prefer not to identify themselves as male or female."
Anecdotally it seems to be less used here in Australia, but it’s only a matter of time. Your thoughts?