The Freemasons have allowed women to be members – but only if they legally change their gender to male while they’re in the society.
After 301 years as a male-only group, the United Grand Lodge of England has told its 200,000 members that anyone who transitions after joining will not be kicked out, as “a Freemason who after initiation ceases to be a man does not cease to be a Freemason.”
Freemasons hit the headlines in February after the group No To Freemasonry and Homosexuality attempted to stop Rihanna’s visit to Senegal because they believed the pro-LGBT singer had ties to Freemasonry and planned to promote homosexuality for the Illuminati.
The Freemasons’ new guidelines, which were issued to all lodges on July 17, also allow transgender men to join, according to The Times.
The group will insist that members continue to address each other with the title ‘Brother’ even if they are trans women, meaning that someone who has become Jessica Reynolds will be known as Brother Jessica or Brother Reynolds
However, the society will allow trans members to choose between stereotypically male or female clothing, with a “smart dark skirt and top” permitted.