A swathe of new gender neutral terms, including abbreviations for “mystery”, “person” and “individual”, have been introduced by banking giant HSBC.
The bank claims the terms – ten in all – offer a better experience for transsexual customers, although they can be used by any person.
Homosexual campaigner Peter Tatchell warned that the terms risk creating confusion.
Low trans numbers
HSBC is not the first bank to take such an action – last year the independent Metro bank introduced the “Mx” prefix for customers.
The number of people who have had a gender recognition certificate to change their legal birth sex is 4,500 – around 0.007 per cent of the UK population.
HSBC says the terms allow people who “don’t want to be identified by gender” to “choose the title that works for them”.
The new terms include:
– Mx: the x replacing r, iss or equivalent
– Ind: an abbreviation of “individual”
– Mre: for “mystery”
– Pr: for “person”
– Msr: a combination of “Miss” and “Sir”
– Misc: short for “miscellaneous”
Peter Tatchell, who campaigns on LGBT issues, questioned the number of terms.
While backing the bank for “showing sensitivity and support”, he cautioned: “I am not sure ten different titles are necessary.
“They risk creating confusion, misunderstanding, ridicule and backlash.”
Last year the Government diluted rules for people changing the sex recorded on their passport.
The Passport Office widened the range of supporting documentation to mirror the approach used for changing name.
In 2014, Facebook allowed users to choose from over 50 options – including “gender fluid” and “two-spirit” – when selecting their gender. Now it simply gives a blank box, alongside “male” and “female”, for people to fill in.