The Growing Popularity of Non-Binary Titles


We've seen a huge explosion in applications for deed polls from applicants seeking to adopt gender neutral titles alongside their name change. Many people still aren't aware what gender neutral titles are, how to use them and how they fit within the historically rigorous social-honorific title system.

In this blog we'll take a look at the increased demand and identify how the Government and private sector has responded so far.

What Is A Genderless Title?

In a nut shell a genderless or gender neutral title, is an honorific social title that does not denote the gender or presumed gender of its holder. You can substitute Mr, Miss, Mrs, Ms etc for an equivalent but non gender specific alternative. There are a large number of neutral gender titles being used, however by far the most popular one we have seen on recent application is Mx, pronounced mix, em ex or mixter.

Why Do People Want Gender Neutral Titles?


Some people feel that they don't identify solely with one gender or don't identify with any gender at all. For these people the notion of using a social title that doesn't adequately represent who they are as a person is deeply uncomfortable. It would be similar in essence to asking somebody who identified as a female to take and adopt the title of Mr in social settings. Assuming a genderless title is a personal choice and represents the personal wishes and identity, be it gender specific or not, of the individual. Why Haven't I Seen Gender Neutral Titles On Official Forms Whilst it's not widely known at the moment, there are many Government bodies in the United Kingdom who know accept the use of gender neutral titles. We have compiled a list below of the Government departments who have to date recognised these titles

GOVERNMENT DEPARTMENT

ALLOWS NO TITLE

ALLOWS NON-BINARY TITLES

Department for Work and Pensions

YES

Mx, Misc

The Driver and Vehicles Licensing Agency

YES

Mx

Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs

YES

Mx

Identity and Passport Service

NO

Misc

National Health Service

NO

Mx, Misc

Cervical Screening Service

NO

Mx

TV Licensing / British Broadcasting

YES

Unknown

It's evident from the above table that the Government approach is lacking in consistency and speed. The Governments slow approach to adopting gender neutral titles has left its executive and non executive agencies to address the situation independently.

So How Big is the Demand?

It's hard to get a clear picture of the actual demand, as the lack of evidence and sporadic acceptance of the titles may have deterred a significant number of people from adopting them. Results from the Gender Census undertaken in 2021[1] reveal that of 44,583 participants, 34.7% would prefer to use no title at all and 24.7% would prefer to use the non binary title Mx. This represents a significant proportion of people.


Taking the next step...


If you're considering changing your name or want more information on the name change process, we can help. Our team of advisors and paralegals are on hand around the clock, waiting to help guide you through the deed poll name change process. Feel free to contact us using the online chat button.

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