Fighting for legal and social recognition outside the gendered societal structure
AUSTRALIA TO ALLOW ‘X’ PASSPORTS
I am really pleased to report the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) have issued new passport guidelines in accordance with recommendations from the Australian Human Rights Commission report Sex Files: the Legal Recognition of Sex in Documents and Government Records (presented to the Australian Federal government in March 2009).
The new guidelines make it possible for Australian citizens to obtain a non gender-specific passport with ‘X’ as an indicator in place of gendered references ‘M’ and ‘F’ under ‘sex’ field.
This is of course in accordance with International Civil Aviation Organisation accepted standards for machine readable passports (ICAO, the UN agency that defines international standards of passport regulation).
The new Australian regulations stipulate a requirement for an accompanying letter of support from a medical practitioner. This differs from the system in New Zealand where it is possible to obtain an ‘X’ passport with a signed statutory declaration – the NZ model represents the template for the system I am fighting for to achieve here in the UK.
But this is nonetheless a monumental achievement for non-gendered in Australia and a big step forward in a global pursuit for the ‘right’ to legal recognition – and self-determination - outside the gendered societal structure.
What is most significant about the Australian government decision is that non gender-specific ‘X’ has been approved purposefully in order to benefit Australian citizens who do not identify as male or female, rather than an assumed temporary indicator for gendered transpeople.
The denial of existence is the worst act of discrimination by the gendered majority against the non-gendered.