Australian insurer first to offer third gender category to customers

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SYDNEY, Oct. 5 (PNA/Xinhua) — A Perth-based health insurance company has become the first in Australia to recognize customers who do not identify as male or female, News Corp reported on Wednesday.

HIF, Australia’s third-fastest growing health insurance company, said it will offer a third gender category on all its forms with the honorific Mx, pronounced “Mux” for those who do not want a traditional title such as Miss, Mr, Mrs, Dr, Prof or Rev.

All other member forms, paper and online, will be updated the word ‘other’ to include the third gender category, HIF managing director Graeme Gibson said.

He said the decision was made “following recent feedback from the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) and a confirmation among HIF’s leadership that HIF is committed to tailoring its offerings to individual preferences and/or circumstances.”

“HIF members may select the ‘other’ gender option if they choose to identify as neither male nor female, including… those who are agender, andro¬≠gyne, bigender, gender fluid, intersex, neutrois, non-binary, pangender or transgender,” Gibson said.

At present, the Australian Passport Office already allows Australian citizens to identify themselves on their passports as M, F or X (others).

This year’s census was also the first time the Australian government had offered a third gender category, despite the fact that it was still lagging on a decision to legalize same-sex marriages in the country.

Gibson said making these changes was an important way forward for HIF, to honor the company’s “commitment to championing ¬≠inclusion, diversity and equality in the community, and to keep evolving with societal changes.”

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