Mr and Mrs debate in Brighton and Hove

By Sam Evans

Brighton and Hove City Council are planning to remove Mr and Mrs titles from documents in a bid to respect the wishes of the transgender people within Brighton and Hove.

The Green Party led council came to the decision after they investigated into the transgender community of Brighton and found that many of them don’t want to be defined by their gender.

The Green Party are the largest party on the council with 23 of their councillors being elected across 10 wards and form a minority administration on the council.

It could be argued that the abolishment of the “Mr” and “Mrs” title is part of The Green’s visions of a fairer society to everyone’s needs but then again, they are also a party based on environmentalism and that didn’t stop them wanting to raise charges on city allotments last year.

Deputy Leader of the Greens, Phelim MacCafferty supports the plan and says “putting Mr and Mrs on a form is completely useless”. Councillor MacCafferty then goes on to say that he doesn’t understand why the titles “Mr” and “Mrs” are even there in the first place.

These views were also shared by LGBT activist Steph Scott who said that being called Mr and Mrs pigeonholes people.

The activist who defines herself as queergender – neither male nor female, also said the titles were outdated and welcomed the plan.

In contrast to this, Conservative Councillor for Hangleton and Knoll, Dawn Barnett labelled the plans completely ludicrous and asked “How are they going to address the letters properly?” Councillor Barnett then went on to say that it is just political correctness gone too far.

A few hours after the plans were announced, there has been a big debate among the local people with one Brighton and Hove resident commenting, “What about those who those of us who want to be addressed as Mr and Mrs on forms? Don’t we have any rights?”

Another resident expressed their support of the plan by saying” It is part of what living in Brighton and Hove is all about”, making reference to Brighton being well-known for its diversity.

The recommendations will be made in December, but with lots of opposition after only a few hours of the news breaking, it seems that the transgender community may have to feel defined by their gender a bit longer.


2 thoughts on “Mr and Mrs debate in Brighton and Hove

  1. Yeah, well: maybe you shouldn’t believe everything you read in the press: espesh when the story isn’t true!

    How do i know? Well, as a journo, i spoke with Brighton Council last week, who confirmed that there was neither plan nor proposal on the table to ban anything.

    There was a recent survey which asked the local trans community about significant issues and this came up with issues like violence on the streets, discrimination at work and in housing, as well as this rather more minor point: which is that if you don’t adhere to the “gender binary” you’re going to have difficulty with online forms that make using a gendered title compulsory.

    Now sensible peeps, like myself, might imagine that the council’s next step would be to consider possible solutions and the simplest solution would be to make that field optional.

    But for some reason, a lot of daft people, including most national tabloids, just jumped on the bandwagon assumption that the only possible response the council might come up with would be to BAN some titles.

    Why? I mean why would people be so daft as to only be able to imagine that solution?

    Tis beyond me…


  2. Pingback: Of That Which is Proper, Polite and Courteous « A sort of living oblivion

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