A council in England is being praised for introducing gender neutral titles on forms in a move to be more inclusive of transgender and genderqueer people.
Oxford City Council has approved plans to include 'Mx' as a title option on paperwork as an alternative to terms which reflect the traditional gender binary of male and female, including Miss, Ms, Mrs and Mr, the Independent reports.
“The council’s workforce has been changing to look more like the diverse communities that it serves," Councillor Tom Haynes, who is also the vice-chair of the council's scrutiny committee, told the newspaper.
"Good policies have helped to bring this about and tackle discrimination but further improvements are possible. In particular, the Council can take practical steps to build a workplace that’s friendlier to transgender employees, and how we gather together personal information on employees is central to that.”
The move has been welcomed by LGBTQIA+ advocates in the UK.
"It is great to see Oxford City Council making positive steps to include non-binary people," Sarah Gibson, assistant editor at Beyond the Binary, told the Independent.
"More and more organisations are adopting the gender neutral title 'Mx' in a similar way to the now commonplace 'Ms'. Something as simple as being able to use the correct title can have a large impact on someone's life."
In 2015 the title Mx was introduced into the Oxford English Dictionary with the definition: ""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."