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4 November 2016, 12:09
This is big.
For people who identify as either "male" or "female", filling out forms is something that is not given much thought.
17-year-old Kaelin Farnish, unfortunately, did not have a straightforward experience when it came to opening a bank account in the UK and filling out forms.
Kaelin is genderqueer and uses the pronouns "they", "them", and "their". Earlier this year, Kaelin made headlines when they found it impossible to open a bank account in the UK.
You see, most bank forms only have two genders to tick and, if you don't identify as either, you can see how that would be a problem. Kaelin also ran into issues applying for a place at University. "Male" and "Female" were the only options available, so they were forced to tick "male" just to be able to make an application.
Kaelin's story ran in Buzzfeed and managed to gain a ton of attention. So much attention that a bank has actually changed its policy to include a third gender!
Metro Bank announced this week that it would be adding gender inclusive forms for the first time ever. Metro will be adding "Mx" as a title and "non-binary" as a gender on its forms.
In an email to Mashable, a bank spokesman, Danny Hamer, explained the motivation behind the new step forward. "Making sure our customers and colleagues feel comfortable and accepted is a real priority for us. That's why we listened and acted on the feedback we received. We hope that today’s announcement will help encourage others to follow in our footsteps."
This may seem small, insignificant even. But it's not.
These aren't just forms. This is a huge step toward acknowledging that "male" and "female" only forms are actively excluding a whole portion of the populace who don't feel that they are represented in everyday society.
Well done to Kaelin for making their voice heard and Metro Bank for making this small, but important, step toward inclusiveness!
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