Gender recognition in the United Kingdom

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This article gives information on the recognition of nonbinary gender identities in law, government, services, and businesses in the United Kingdom. This also deals with policies about transgender people in general, and related policies about intersex people. Recognition here means whether an organization acknowledges that such people exist and have valid identities, and the organization does this by routinely giving them a place where they aren't forced into being wrongly categorized as a gender that doesn't match their gender identity. In the case of recognition of nonbinary people, this means the system doesn't force them to wrongly say they are one of the binary genders (female or male).

Follow to find lists of organisations in each category, with status on nonbinary acceptance and evidence.

You can find a PDF of some of the evidence here: [1]

Office for National Statistics (ONS)

The ONS are responsible for collecting information about the demographics of the United Kingdom, including the UK census.

When asked over Twitter whether they recognised genders other than male and female, they responded:[1]

Here's work we've done around the area & for further info email

The second link is relevant. It's a PDF on their investigation into gender.[2] It says in the glossary on page 5:

A person who does not fit clearly into the typical gender roles of their society. Androgynous people may identify as beyond gender, between genders, moving across genders, entirely genderless, or any or all of these. Androgyne identities include pan-gender, bi-gender, ambi-gender, non-gendered, a-gender, gender-fluid or intergender.

Despite recognising and even naming nonbinary people as "androgynous" since 2009, they did not collect information about nonbinary genders in the 2011 census. They have yet to give a clear answer on why this is. It is worth noting that residents are asked about their sex in the census rather than their gender, but trans people are asked to "choose whichever ‘sex’ they feel best represents their current identity".[3]

When asked why a third option is not offered in the census, the ONS said:[3]

One of the criteria for including any question or response category in a census is that there must be a strong need for information to be collected. Consultation with census users on the content of the 2011 Census did not identify a requirement for options for non-gendered or transgender. Nor do international agencies such as the UN Economic Commission for Europe and Eurostat recommend the collection of such information in a mandatory population census. In addition, collection information on such a small population subgroup would raise confidentiality issues. There is also some concern that such an additional category might encourage some people to simply not reveal their male or female identity, and this could interfere with the demographic analysis we undertake.

See also

External links


  1. Tweet by @ONS, January 2015.
  2. Trans Data Position Paper by the ONS, May 2009 (direct PDF download)
  3. 3.0 3.1 United Kingdom Census 2011, March 2011.