Australia Adopts Trans-Friendly Passport Rules
Australia has adopted new passport regulations that allow trans citizens to select the gender with which they best identify.
Until last week, all people had to either list their birth gender (or assigned gender, if their birth gender was indeterminate), or undergo a full sex change operation if they wished to list their identified gender. Since some trans people can’t undergo sex reassignment surgery for medical reasons, this resulted in mismatches and holdups at borders.
In addition to the policy change, a new gender type called ‘X’ can be used for anyone whose gender has been indeterminate from birth or was assigned arbitrarily.
This is definitely a step in the right direction, although I’m not particularly sure why passports need to list gender in the first place. At least not since the miraculous technical advancement known as photography was made widely available sometime in the last couple of years (give or take two hundred).
Incidentally, legal changes to gender identity in Canada is provincial jurisdiction, with Canadian passports reflecting the provincial status. All provinces allow for legal changes to gender identity, but with different rules. The United States, it turns out, is currently mulling changes similar to those of Australia.
(Very special acknowledgments will now be issued to the astute Slap readers who alerted me to this story! Thanks, Matthew… Thatthew. Also: Thanks, Dana… Thana.)
- Transsexual Aussies like new passport changes [Herald Sun]
- US unveils new passport rules for transgender people [News.com.au]