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CHRISTIE ELAN-CANE

NON-GENDERED

Fighting for legal and social recognition outside the gendered societal structure

 

 

NON-GENDERED IN THE UK – AN URGENT REMINDER!!!

 

The Government Equalities Office (GEO) online survey should be returned no later than 6 May 2011.

 

The incorporation of non-gendered into the Government Action Plan represents a major breakthrough and recognition finally from the United Kingdom’s governing authorities that we exist and that our needs and fundamental rights as human beings are not being addressed.

 

Again, I must stress it is VITAL that we - non-gendered human beings - are prepared to get involved and make a positive contribution to this process.

 

It is through our participation that we can increase our visibility as an identifiable group and inform the government about the issues that most detrimentally impact our lives and the measures they are urgently required to undertake in order to implement real change that best meets our specific needs.

 

The survey can be accessed from e-bulletin on the GEO website http://www.equalities.gov.uk/news/transgender.aspx

 

Any questions relating to the survey or other aspects of the Government Action Plan should be addressed to Transgender@geo.gsi.gov.uk.

 

 

Non gender-specific passports for Denmark?

 

The UN Human Rights Council has issued a suggested recommendation to the Danish government that Danish citizens should be given the freedom to use ‘X’ as a non gender-specific indicator on passports (which - as those who have read my previous postings will know - is possible, permissible and in accordance with international accepted standards for machine readable passports). This came about after a joint representation to the Council’s Universal Periodic Review (UPR) by LGBT Denmark and Trans Denmark. Gendered transpeople in Denmark cannot get an amended passport unless in possession of required certification (similar to situation for gendered transpeople in New Zealand) and ‘X’ would be a potential solution. However, as happened in New Zealand, the non gender-specific option could be embraced by Danish non-gendered as the definitive solution.

 

The Council also expressed concern at Denmark’s use of gender identifying personal identity numbers given to each individual.

 

The UPR date of consideration for Denmark is Monday 2nd May 2011 and I will update further when I have more information after the event.


As the UK Identity and Passport Service drags its feet over this issue in what has become a tiresome ping-pong exchange of letters, I look forward to external factors such as a possible European precedent along with increased pressure brought about from measures to be determined under the Government Action Plan to finally result in a change to IPS policy.

 

I will continue in my efforts to secure IPS recognition of our fundamental rights as human beings to have personal identification documentation that does not misrepresent our identity and that IPS does not continue to force us to collude in our own social invisibility in the passport application process. I will do this until the IPS properly addresses the issue of human existence outside the gendered societal structure and stops coming back to me with the wrong answer.

 

 

NEPAL

 

Meanwhile a second Nepalese citizen has been issued with a third gender citizenship certificate (the first was issued in 2007).

http://www.thehimalayantimes.com/fullNews.php?headline=Third+gender+issued+citizenship+certificate&NewsID=284117

 

I have done some further research and believe that ‘Third Gender’ is a term used for all transpeople in Nepal, which appears to me much more inclusive and respectful of diversity within the transpopulation than the often separatist and compartmentalized transpopulation that inhabits the countries of western culture where the needs of one section can be ignored and overridden because they conflict with the needs of another section that holds more political clout.

 

Another interesting fact I picked up was the Nepalese Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS) have decided to add ‘Third Gender’ to the next census questionnaire. Visit the Blue Diamond Society website for more information on achievements so far in Nepal http://www.bds.org.np/human_rights.html

 

 

Census 2011 – ONS response

 

Nothing as yet from ONS in response to my census questionnaire return but I have received a reply to my email of 9th March sent to Jil Matheson, Office for National Statistics Permanent Secretary. Not from Jil of course but a standard polite response from one of the ONS department heads.

 

Basically saying the same thing as before about lack of user need (how can user need be determined when the census users have no record of our existence?) and that some elements of the privileged gendered majority might decide to tick the non gender-specific option and corrupt the data (and that is justification for condemning non-gendered members of society to socially invisible existence?). The response contained a link to an ONS report – ‘Trans Data Position Paper’ - dated May 2009, which was actually some time after the stage of consultation for Census 2011 where I was peripherally involved.

 

The report essentially covers reasons why gendered transpeople were not included in the census and mainly centred around the issue of privacy of the individual. One could argue from the standpoint that non-gendered interests were effectively sacrificed in order to protect gendered transpeople who prefer to live in stealth but I do not believe that argument is even relevant because gendered transpeople could just tick the box that corresponds in accordance to their gendered role.

 

It is a separate issue and has no bearing on the issue of provision on the census questionnaire for non-gendered human beings to be able to correctly declare as neither male nor female.

 

The ONS report appeared to have some restriction on unauthorised distribution so I have not put in a link because I do not want to risk the possibility of my website being closed down but you can probably find it somewhere on the ONS website if that interested. I would not bother. Report was not well compiled or remotely interesting although non-gendered mentioned once or twice. A final ironic twist is the report rather curiously cites one of my papers as a reference point.

 

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

 


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Christie Elan-Cane
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