Reb Xiberras was pleasantly surprised to find their presidential invite addressed using the gender-neutral title ‘Mx’.
Executive member of LGBTI+ Gozo and psychology graudate Reb Xiberras has chosen not to identify as male or female. Reb is a perfect example of the fact that everyone is free to chose for themselves the gender they want to identify as, and that rejection or social exclusion should never be an issue.
Reb was shocked and amazed to find the title ‘Mx’ when personally addressed by the President of Malta Marie Louise Coleiro Preca in an invite. The story was reported by Insite writer Denise Grech for the Times of Malta, following which Insite spoke to Reb about this heart-warming presidential gesture.
“It was absolutely awesome to be asked which title I would prefer to be addressed with, especially since most people assume I am a ‘she’ when they see my name written down”, Reb tells us. “Usually people don’t ask me from beforehand, which is understandable because I am aware of the lack of education on the subject”.
Reb tells Insite that the invite came after the recent appointment of new ambassadors in Malta, where LGBTI+ Gozo was invited to discuss certain LGBT issues with the ambassadors.
“When the President’s Office invited us to attend and asked for addresses, my colleague Eman Borg asked if I wanted to have my invite addressed as Mx”, Reb continues. “I obviously said yes, especially because I am planning to eventually change my title to Mx on my ID card as well”.
The ‘X’ marker gives people the option of not declaring their sex or gender identity on official public records, the Times of Malta reports. It was introduced as part of the the Gender Identity, Gender Expression And Sex Characteristics Act, which was unanimously approved by Parliament in 2015.
Upon receiving the invite, Reb explained their reaction as being one of complete hype. “I was extremely excited to realise that Her Excellency is aware of the relevant law, and is respecting minorities, even simply by asking with which title or pronoun they prefer to be addressed”.
As an Executive member of LGBTI+ Gozo, Reb promises to continue working hard towards increasing education in the Maltese Islands regarding issues related to gender and sexuality.
Johann Agius is a fourth year law student who is currently the CEO of Insite after fulfilling the roles of Public Relations Officer and External Relations Officer in previous years. He joined Insite as a writer and photographer in 2013 and was elected in the executive for the first time a year later.