Fighting for legal and social recognition outside the gendered societal structure
In just under two months’ time the UK Government’s discriminatory passport policy will be the subject of a judicial review at the Royal Courts of Justice in London during a two-day hearing that is scheduled to begin on Wednesday, 18 April 2018.
The legal case I am bringing against the UK Home Office represents a significant milestone in my ongoing fight to have my NON-GENDERED IDENTITY recognised on my personal identity documentation and that my identity is acknowledged and respected in all aspects of my life.
I aspire to achieve legitimate identity that most people can take for granted as I aspire to regain privileged civil rights that society reserves for the gendered majority.
My overriding need to not compromise on the validation of my identity meant that I was forced to relinquish many basic civil rights that I’d not regarded as privileges prior to my disclosure but which I now recognise as privileged rights that are both precious and elusive.
The right to legitimate identity is however the most fundamental of all human rights.
The fundamental right to legitimate identity is no less significant than the right to life itself.
I’ve been engaged in this battle for more than 25 years and what began as a desperate bid for survival within the gendered societal structure metamorphosed into a personal campaign that involved interaction with politicians and the UK Government whilst I was reaching out to agencies and individuals in other parts of the world.
I’ve witnessed a great deal of change over the years as a number of countries have changed their national policies and slowly edged towards recognition and essential provision for citizens whose identities are neither male nor female.
The UK Government has, by contrast, steadfastly refused to address the issue despite that measures to advance LGB and [to a much lesser extent] T equality were delivered over the last decade.
The symbolism of the passport as a key identity document, the provision afforded by the ICAO worldwide governing body and the recognition of non gender-specific ‘X’ by other countries’ national governing administrations propelled ‘X’ Passports as a key focal issue within the wider NON-GENDERED campaign.
The commencement of legal action against the UK Government was the only option that remained open for me after engagement through the political process was exhausted and had ultimately failed. It was evident there was no intention on the Government’s part to do anything to address the extraordinary plight of citizens who are denied legitimate identity and condemned to a life of social invisibility, compromise and fear.
I am ably represented by Kate Gallafent QC and Tom Mountford of Blackstone Chambers and my legal team at Clifford Chance. All are working in a pro bono capacity.
EDM 175, tabled by Norman Lamb MP [Liberal Democrat: North Norfolk] is the sixth motion tabled by MPs in five consecutive parliamentary sessions that call upon the UK Government to change its discriminatory policy on the issuance of non gender-specific ‘X’ Passports.
MPs across the entire political spectrum had their consciousness raised in regard to the need for ‘X’ Passports within the context of the wider issue through the tabling of Early Day Motions [EDMs] that MPs were strongly encouraged to sign.
Therefore, despite that EDMs have no executive powers, it is important to register as many signatures as possible [no definitive number but generally assumed to be not less than 100] in order that the issue can be selected for parliamentary debate.
The EDMs continue to gather a great deal of support from within the parliamentary arena.
All MPs are urged to add their signatures to EDM 175 in support of ‘X’ Passports in the UK.
I must add that I find it distasteful that my fundamental human right to have my identity recognised by others should be the subject of debate – and I do not hold that there has to be a ‘’conversation’’ as is so often reported – however there was a time not so long ago when I was grateful to see the issue acknowledged by anyone in public life. Anyone at all.
When the parliamentary debate is called I can foresee the recognition of human identity outside the gendered societal structure being rightly perceived as a legitimate human rights issue whose passage into law is long overdue.
Gay Star News recently featured the campaign as my legal team and I prepare for the full judicial review hearing. Feature and accompanying video can be viewed HERE
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