When a person wishes to change their gender identity, this can often involve a lot of documentation. This bundle of paper belongs to a young trans man who participated on the project. It includes medical records and letters that stipulate the assessment, diagnosis and treatment processes of transsexualism. There are also legal processes the person needs to go through. Changing your name by Deed Poll is necessary in order to change important identity documents such as Passports.
The legal position in the UK states that a person must be assigned either ‘male’ or ‘female’ at birth by medical practitioners. It is possible to live in a different gender from the one assigned at birth, but in legal terms this currently means you can only go from Male to Female or from Female to Male. In order to reassign your sex that you were assigned at birth, you must by diagnosed as having ‘Gender Dysphoria’. Then you can gain new identity documents such as passport and driving licences.
If you have lived in your gender for two years you can obtain full legal recognition and receive a Gender Recognition Certificate. This issues you a new birth certificate.
Mr, Mrs, Ms, Mx
In October 2011 the UK Deed Poll Service added the honorific ‘Mx’ as an option, alongside ‘Mr’, ‘Mrs’, ‘Miss’ and ‘Ms’. This was for people who do not identify themselves as either ‘male’ or ‘female’ or for those who do not wish to disclose their gender identity.
In 2011 Australia became the first ever government to offer intersex individuals to opt for ‘X’ on their passports as opposed to ‘F’ or ‘M’.
One of the researchers attached to the project, Sarah Chaney, said:
I don’t think I’ve ever had the option to put ‘Mx’ on a form. ‘Dr’ seems to be commonly an option though. I know a lot of people (myself included) who were very excited about getting a PhD because ‘Dr’ is not gender specific.