Fighting for legal and social recognition outside the gendered societal structure
THE IDENTITY AND PASSPORT SERVICE
CALL TO ACT
As I’m sure most readers of this site are already aware, in the wake of the Australian Federal Government decision to legally recognise non gender-specific option ‘X’ as a valid passport option for Australian non-gendered and intersex citizens, on 19th September 2011 the United Kingdom’s Identity and Passport Service (IPS) have finally issued a statement.
Despite ongoing confusion and misreporting in the press, the move represents a fundamental achievement in that the IPS, now having been brought more under the auspices of the government Home Office, have admitted that proposals for IPS recognition of non gender-specific ‘X’ as a legitimate third option for United Kingdom passport holders are being ‘investigated’.
I expect there will be a public consultation announcement at some stage but, in the meantime -
I repeat my call to each and every single one of you who wants to make this happen
I ask that you WRITE to the Identity and Passport Service and send your message loud and clear.
If you responded to my earlier call in August 2010 then YOU were a fundamental part of the changes we are now starting to witness and I ask that you WRITE AGAIN! And if you hope to benefit from proposed change to current IPS policy that forces non-gendered transpeople into an unwilling collusion in our own social invisibility by denying us a non gender-specific option for essential personal identification documentation but you did not respond before, then I strongly urge you to NOT leave the work to others and just assume things will fall into place – because we are on the way – and we are closer than ever – but we are not there yet. GET OFF THE FENCE AND GET WRITING!
If you want it then FIGHT because we have the power to MAKE IT HAPPEN!!!
And we need to gain the support of as many of our parliamentary representatives as we can, because there are bigots who will vehemently want to deny to us our FUNDAMENTAL RIGHT to hold personal identity documentation that does not misrepresent our identity. Therefore anyone who feels able should make the effort to write a letter (email should be fine) to their local MP – or make an appointment and visit them in their surgery – and urge they pledge support for this issue.
This really could be our chance to achieve that elusive breakthrough and begin our journey towards legal recognition and the ‘right’ to be treated as equals and not as something less than human.
We claim the ‘right’ of legitimacy – as taken for granted by the privileged majority within the gendered societal structure.
Send your letters to:
Chief Executive and Registrar General for England and Wales
Identity and Passport Service
2 Marsham Street
4th Floor, SE Peel Building
London SW1P 4DF
And don’t forget to contact your MP.
AUSTRALIAN ‘X’ PASSPORT ELIGIBILITY - CONFIRMATION
At the time I posted my last entry (and tried to clear up the confusion following much inaccurate media reporting) I reported that non-gendered transpeople in Australia could obtain a passport with the non gender-specific ‘X’ as indicator, but I felt it necessary to include the following caveat:
Note of caution (or caveat to cover my backside): Although the above statement taken from the Australian Passport Office website appears to be unequivocal to me, I have sent multiple email requests to the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) asking they can confirm the position - as I understand - is correct and DFAT have unfortunately not responded. I post this on my website on the basis the information uploaded onto the Australian Passport Office website on 14 September 2011 has not been removed or amended and therefore assumed as correct.
I was quite certain my information was correct (and I always try to corroborate and establish the facts before publishing) but had received no verification from the Australian Government Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) as they had not responded to my enquires.
I am pleased to say Dr Tracie O’Keefe of the SAGE Australia steering committee has kindly written and affirmed the non gender-specific third option ‘X’ IS accessible to non-gendered Australian citizens – as long as the application is supported by a letter from a medical practitioner. The letter is for purpose of authentication (the practitioner acting as ‘guarantor’ for the applicant) rather than providing an account of an applicant’s medical history. Tracie was, of course, one of those campaigners who were instrumental in bringing about the changes we are seeing today in Australia and worked in conjunction with the authorities in determining the new Australian passport regulations http://www.sageaustralia.org/
The denial of existence is the worst act of discrimination by the gendered majority against the non-gendered.