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Apr. 25th, 2016

CHRISTIE ELAN-CANE
NON-GENDERED
Fighting for legal and social recognition outside the gendered societal structure



‘X’ PASSPORTS IN THE UK – AND THE USA!

EARLY DAY MOTION 660

EDM 660 calling upon the UK Government to provision the issuance of non gender-specific ‘X’ Passports has very little time left to run before close of session.

Once more I am urging ALL MPs who support the principle of legitimate identity as a fundamental human right to add their signature to the motion.

If you are reading this and your MP is not on the signatory list, then please CONTACT YOUR MP and request as a matter of urgency that they should add their signature to EDM 660.


TWEET PRESIDENT OBAMA

Outgoing US President Barack Obama has been a staunch LGB ally and recognises that much more needs to be done in order to advance trans* equality.

A growing number of countries that includes Australia, New Zealand and Malta now permit the issuance of passports with [sex] “unspecified” character ‘X’.

This is in accordance with international accepted standards defined within UN International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) Document 9303.

The Women and Equalities Select Committee has strongly urged that the UK must follow and a number of MPs have signed EDM 660 that calls for ‘X’ Passports to be issued in the UK.

An earlier petition to the Whitehouse that called for provision of non gender-specific options in the US reached more than 100,000 signatures but US passport applicants are still required to declare themselves either ‘M’ or ‘F’.

The US has very strict entry requirements. Visitors from ‘friendly’ nations such as the UK are not required to obtain an entry visa but are nonetheless required to provide certain personal information in order to obtain an Electronic System for Travel Authorisation (ESTA). ESTA is essential for entry into the US and applicants for ESTA are required to state whether they are male or female. There is little chance of US entry requirements changing unless the US federal administration accepts the need to make provision.

Now calling upon President Obama to push the US Department of State and its associated agencies for the fast introduction of non gender-specific ‘X’ Passports in the US and that ESTA entry system is adapted to issue and recognise non gender-specific ‘X’ documentation.

Add your voice to the call for ‘X’ Passports in the US, click on hyperlink below and retweet right now!


Retweet for ‘X’ Passports in the USA!

The denial of existence is the worst act of discrimination by the gendered majority against the non-gendered



 

Apr. 23rd, 2016

CHRISTIE ELAN-CANE
NON-GENDERED
Fighting for legal and social recognition outside the gendered societal structure




CALLING UPON PRESIDENT OBAMA TO COME THROUGH FOR ‘X’ PASSPORTS IN THE US

Calling upon President Barack Obama to push the US Department of State and its associated agencies for the fast introduction of non gender-specific ‘X’ Passports in the US right now!

Please retweet!


The denial of existence is the worst act of discrimination by the gendered majority against the non-gendered

Apr. 10th, 2016

CHRISTIE ELAN-CANE
NON-GENDERED
Fighting for legal and social recognition outside the gendered societal structure




SILVER ANNIVERSARY

Last Wednesday 06 April 2016 was our Silver Anniversary. It was 06 April 1991 that my partner and I first met and, as we cannot formalise our partnership, every year we commemorate the day as our anniversary. Here are my lovely partner David’s thoughts before and after our special Anniversary.


Trans* Equality: The Enemy Within

I have campaigned for more than 20 years for legitimate identity that most people can take for granted. I do not want for the rest of my life to be spent on hold and in a state of precarious limbo while my fundamental right of equal co-existence is debated by others.

It is an unfortunate fact that certain unaccountable, faceless individuals have for some time exerted undue authority where matters pertaining to my rights are concerned.

The UK Government is due to respond shortly to the Select Committee’s recommendation that the UK must allow for the introduction of non gender-specific ‘X’ Passports and it is ESSENTIAL that the decision process is transparent and unimpeded by those with an ulterior and prejudicial interest.

Read my latest blog for HuffPost UK ‘Trans* Equality: The Enemy Within


EDM 660

Parliamentary Early Day Motion 660 has just a few more weeks to run before session close.


That this House recognises the support expressed during the last parliamentary session to address the issues faced by people whose identities are neither male nor female; believes that people are compromised and diminished as a result of inappropriate gender references on their personal identity information; acknowledges that all passports issued by HM Passport Office are currently gender-specific and it is therefore not possible to obtain a British passport that contains no reference to gendered identity; understands that the International Civil Aviation Organisation standard specification for machine-readable travel documents (ICAO Document 9303) permits X (unspecified) alongside F (female) and M (male) under a mandatory sex category; notes that citizens of Australia and New Zealand are able to obtain a non gender-specific X passport and that India, Nepal and Pakistan make provision for their citizens when neither M nor F are appropriate; further believes that similar provision is needed in the UK where current discriminatory policy denies non-gendered and bi-gendered people a legitimate identity; and therefore urges that the Government and HM Passport Office make non gender-specific X passports available in the UK to people who do not identify with a particular gender.

All MPs should be encouraged to support the motion.

More to follow very soon.

The denial of existence is the worst act of discrimination by the gendered majority against the non-gendered
 

Apr. 6th, 2016

CHRISTIE ELAN-CANE
NON-GENDERED
Fighting for legal and social recognition outside the gendered societal structure



Trans* Equality: The Enemy Within

Important!! Read my new blog posted today on HuffPost UK

http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/christie-elancane/trans-equality-the-enemy-_b_9618316.html

And feel free to like and share!


The denial of existence is the worst act of discrimination by the gendered majority against the non-gendered
 

Mar. 18th, 2016

CHRISTIE ELAN-CANE
NON-GENDERED
Fighting for legal and social recognition outside the gendered societal structure



TRANS* EQUALITY INQUIRY

All is deathly silent at the moment as Government has yet to respond to recommendations made by the Women and Equalities Select Committee in its concluding report released on 14 January 2016.

I was pleased to be invited to provide oral evidence at one of a series of panel sessions before the Committee in what turned out to be a surprisingly wide ranging inquiry that received more than 250 written submissions (although, as always the case, not all input was constructive nor supportive).

Anyone interested enough can read back through previous entries posted on this site for my comments on the report in the aftermath of its release. There are entries that go further back to when the inquiry was announced last July (appearing initially as an uninspiring tick-box exercise that would avoid any focus on the real issues). And anyone who wants to understand more about events that led up to inquiry can read further back all the way to 2008 if so inspired.

In its report the Committee made a number of recommendations that were potentially ground breaking in terms of advancing trans* ‘rights’. The Committee strongly endorsed the introduction of non gender-specific ‘X’ Passports in the UK for those who do not define as either male or female and cautiously alluded to the need for wider provision but I sense there are hidden caveats. I’ve been dealt too many blows in the past to be able to respond with anything other than cynicism.

In the meantime non-gendered people in the UK continue to wait as our ability to exercise our fundamental right to legitimate existence is debated and ultimately determined by others.


LEGAL ACTION

As those who follow this site will know, HM Passport Office’s policy that forces non-gendered people to select a gender at the point of application and then to be issued with an inappropriate gendered passport document was on course to be made subject of judicial review proceedings at the time the Committee’s inquiry was announced last year. More info can be found here.

I’m afraid this is just another ‘holding’ update and there is no further news at present other than that proceedings against HM Passport Office and its discriminatory policy are still in preparation.


EDM 660

Don’t forget to contact your local parliamentary representative and urge their support for those who need an ‘X’ Passport. Ask your MP to add their signature to EDM 660.

The denial of existence is the worst act of discrimination by the gendered majority against the non-gendered

Mar. 4th, 2016

CHRISTIE ELAN-CANE
NON-GENDERED
Fighting for legal and social recognition outside the gendered societal structure



ZAC GOLDSMITH MP

The Conservative Party’s mayoral candidate for London, Zac Goldsmith MP claims he wants to be “pansexual for London”.

While his understanding of LGBT issues may be open for debate, Zac Goldsmith seeks to become London’s elected Mayor and I am more concerned about his record on the issues that affect me as a non-gendered human being who is socially invisible while in plain sight.

Over the course of the last three parliamentary sessions I have worked very hard to build support for a series of Early Day Motions for the issuing of non gender-specific ‘X’ Passports in the UK.

EDM 660 tabled by Norman Lamb MP last November currently has more than 60 MP signatures and I am aiming for not less than 100 signatures before close of this session.

Zac Goldsmith is the only MP of the hundreds who were contacted by email whose response to a reasonable request to show support for a legitimate human rights issue has been to block my email address.

If Zac Goldsmith does not support the principle of legitimate identity as a fundamental human right then he could have politely refused to sign the motion (as some MPs have done) rather than block the access of future communications from me to his office.

I have tried to contact Zac Goldsmith’s office via his website and requested to be removed from his blocked senders list. I have not had a response.

Another email was sent from me to Zac Goldsmith’s office today after I had read the PinkNews item. The email was returned as undeliverable as were several others over the course of the last year.

If Zac Goldsmith is disinterested in the marginalization of non-gendered people to the extent he does not even want to receive emails from me, why on earth would I ever vote for him to represent me as London’s Mayor?

The denial of existence is the worst act of discrimination by the gendered majority against the non-gendered
 

Feb. 15th, 2016

CHRISTIE ELAN-CANE
NON-GENDERED
Fighting for legal and social recognition outside the gendered societal structure



EARLY DAY MOTION 660

More than 60 MPs have added their signatures to EDM 660 in support for ‘X’ Passports in the UK.

80 MPs supported EDM 47 for ‘X’ Passports in the last parliamentary session. An incredible achievement!

Now aiming for 100+ signatures for EDM 660 before end of this session – and still enough time to achieve.

Has your MP signed the motion?


Contact your local MP and urge their support for EDM 660 – MP contact details can be found here


Spectator item

Following on from my 29 January 2016 entry on this site, I have lodged a complaint with the Independent Press Standards Organisation (IPSO) in response to item that was recently published by The Spectator magazine.

I will update further in due course.

The denial of existence is the worst act of discrimination by the gendered majority against the non-gendered
 

Feb. 4th, 2016

CHRISTIE ELAN-CANE
NON-GENDERED
Fighting for legal and social recognition outside the gendered societal structure



‘X’ PASSPORTS IN THE UK

My latest blogpost is on HuffPost UK: ‘Is the UK Government About to U-Turn on ‘X’ Passports?

Will the UK Government accept the W&E Select Committee’s recommendations in favour of ‘X’ or continue to kowtow to HM Passport Office and civil servants with a different a:gender?

The denial of existence is the worst act of discrimination by the gendered majority against the non-gendered

 

Jan. 29th, 2016

CHRISTIE ELAN-CANE
NON-GENDERED
Fighting for legal and social recognition outside the gendered societal structure



Is the UK Government about to U-Turn on ‘X’ Passports?

An announcement last July that ‘Transgender Equality’ was to be the focus of a fledgling Women and Equalities Committee’s inaugural inquirytook many people by surprise.

On 14 January 2016, the Select Committee duly reported its findings and key recommendations.

One particular recommendation predictably found attention – that “The UK must follow Australia’s lead in introducing an option to record gender (sic) as “X” on a passport.

The recommendation was in sharp contrast to current Government policy “…..it is not Government policy to identify such people for the purpose of issuing non-gender-specific official documents”.

The Committee’s recommendation for ‘X’ Passports was definitive whereas recommendations pertaining to wider issues surrounding non-gendered identity were opaque. The Committee suggested “a wholesale review of issues” and that “The Government must look into the need to create a [third] legal category …… and the full implications of this.” with an admission the issues were “beyond the scope of our inquiry”.

But there was nothing opaque about the recommendation for ‘X’ Passports. The UK Government “must” introduce ‘X’ as an option. As is often the case, the truth hides behind smoke and mirrors.

Committee Chair Maria Miller previously had ultimate responsibility over an extensive ‘Equalities’ portfolio while Government was furiously backpedalling to renege upon an earlier commitment to consider proposals for the issuance of ‘X’ Passports in the UK. Government backpedalled so furiously that a policy review by the former Identity and Passport Service, now HM Passport Office (HMPO) was effectively nothing more than a sham.

The UK Government’s rejection of ‘X’ Passports appeared on the surface to have been a decision taken unilaterally by HMPO.

HMPO’s discriminatory policy was about to come under legal scrutiny through a proposed judicial review application.

In October 2014 HMPO was stripped of its semi-autonomous ‘executive agency’ status and lost the independence that blurred the lines on policy decision making. HMPO is now part of the Home Office therefore Government cannot remain distanced on this issue.

HMPO’s position is untenable given the overriding need for non gender-specific documentation as highlighted in the Committee’s report. Maria Miller has effectively distanced herself while HMPO favours the upholding of a shameful discriminatory policy.

More details about background to this can be found here

The denial of existence is the worst act of discrimination by the gendered majority against the non-gendered
 

Jan. 29th, 2016

CHRISTIE ELAN-CANE
NON-GENDERED
Fighting for legal and social recognition outside the gendered societal structure




Spectator Article

The Women and Equalities Committee’s ‘Transgender Equality’ report was targeted by controversial commentator Melanie Phillips in a dangerously ill-informed article that recently appeared in right-wing publication The Spectator.

Phillips took issue that my non gender-specific pronoun ‘per’ was recognised within the report whilst completely failing to note the valid point I was making when I reminded the Committee that the former coalition government’s discredited trans* equality action plan was “all plan and no action”.

Among other things, Phillips decried the Committee’s positive stance on trans* depathologisation and described the encouragement of transphobic hate crime reporting as “sinister”.

An accompanying podcast featured a discussion with Phillips and a representative from the Civil Service trans* support organisation ‘a:gender’. Far from challenging Phillips on her reprehensible views, the a:gender representative appeared to cede to them. But a:gender does have form in this respect. This organisation’s dinosaur views are further to the right of the political spectrum than Phillips could ever hope to be. A trans* ‘support’ organisation that does not believe in personal autonomy nor does it believe in the fundamental right of legitimate identity. The organisation is vehemently against the principle of non gender-specific option ‘X’ for those who do not define as male or female because they feel that provision for non-gendered people somehow undermines them! Its senior members cannot accept the reality of trans* experience outside stereotypical male and female gendered roles and they seek to deny legitimacy to those whose identities do not fit into their limited world view. There is no logic to their argument. Just old fashioned ignorance and bigotry.

One must ask therefore, what exactly is the message being conveyed by a:gender away from the public gaze? The group’s senior members act as policy advisers to the UK Government on trans* issues and yet they are unaccountable to those whose lives are impacted by Government decisions because they are not ‘public’ figures. With this in mind, one might begin to understand why there has been such a distinct lack of progress on trans* issues in the UK and why commitments made by Government under the trans* equality action plan never got to see the light of day.

The denial of existence is the worst act of discrimination by the gendered majority against the non-gendered
 

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