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November 1st, 2013

Fighting for legal and social recognition outside the gendered societal structure

‘X’ passports in Germany?

New legislation came into force today in Germany allowing parents of newborn to leave the gender field blank on the child’s birth certificate. Germany is the first European country to acknowledge the fact that not all of society can be pigeonholed into gendered classification. This is, however, not exactly a brave new dawn.

The ‘blank’ option is available to parents where the newborn displays the physical characteristics of male and female (ie. the child is medically classified as intersex).

The option is strictly regulated by the governing authorities and the medical profession. The option is certainly not open to all German parents who might reasonably decide they would rather not inflict inappropriate gendered classification on their child.

My understanding is that the legislation does not provide allowance for someone to be able to make an informed choice in applying to have an inappropriate gendered reference removed at any point later in their life.

As I say, not exactly a brave new dawn but an avenue has been constructed where something might change in the future as society becomes better educated. The German government have done what the United Kingdom government was afraid to do – and spectacularly FAILED to do – and has opened the wider debate on gender identity or lack of gender identity.

As for ‘X’ passports, again my understanding is the German authorities will introduce ‘X’ passports in order to comply with the ‘blank‘ designation on the birth certificate. My guess is the authorities are assuming that individuals with a ‘blank’ designation will conveniently decide to opt into genderhood and that parents will have the birth certificate amended to either ‘M’ or ‘F’ before applying for their child’s first passport but in the meantime the administration will make the provision of ‘X’ to a strictly limited number of people.

This is of no immediate benefit to anyone in Germany who was inappropriately gendered at any point up until today, however could pave the way for non-gendered in Germany to challenge fiercely that they too should have to right to obtain a non gender-specific ‘X’ passport.

I will be watching with interest and request if anyone has any further information on the situation in Germany, or anywhere else for that matter, to send to me at Christie.Elan-Cane@ukgateway.net.

Note, I’ve reverted to my old ‘public’ email address that I never got around to cancelling because I find the new Yahoo messaging format completely unusable. I request that people do not write to me at the Yahoo address but use the one above from now on.


Petitions will remain online until the objectives are met – if you have not yet signed, then it is never too late. I urge again, do not leave the fight to other people. Each and every signature counts – please continue to forward the petition links to anyone who might be interested:

Legal protection for all trans* and intersex in the UK
In support of ‘X’ passports in the United Kingdom

Early Day Motion

Still no further news and I am pushing now to have EDM in support of ‘X’ passports tabled now rather than wait any longer while HM Passport Office continues to drag its feet over publicising findings of what was without doubt a sham ‘review’ of proposals for ‘X’ passports in the UK.

I am aware some readers of this site have contacted their local MPs and urged their support for Simon Hughes’ EDM and thank everyone who has made a positive contribution. I understand the responses have not all been helpful and request anyone who receives a response – positive or negative – to forward a copy to me.

I would also be interested to see any responses received from HM Passport Office on this issue.

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

Copyright ©2013 Christie Elan-Cane
All rights reserved


Christie Elan-Cane

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