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Australia to allow transgender and intersex passport options

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  1. How would putting an X on a MtoF’s passport help them? Surely a F would be more appropriate? I’m sure it would also course confusion in airports of countries that have never heard of the X. Maybe I’m missing the point here?

    1. “The ‘X’ status is reserved solely for intersex people”

      Changes to rules for transgender people have also been made – “trans individuals no longer need to undergo sex reassignment surgery in order to be issued with a passport in their preferred gender”.

      1. In a country so horrifically transphobic that no transsexual children are allowed to do absolutely anything towards transition without the explicit order of a federal court, and where half of transsexual people seem to be shredding their surgeon’s letters and be desperately trying to claim to be spontaneously sex-changed intersex (despite such additional total impossibilities as having fathered children), it seems more than risky to be terming the change of sex marker as simply a gender preference. And, goodness, are all those self-designated intersex people going to have to change their passports back from M or F to X? And did any of these people actually consult real intersex people, or consider the non-intersex who have no gender, and seem to be excluded from the use of passport marker they desperately need?

    2. There are folk who are neither M nor F – this would help them.

      It’s also the case that I currently have no valid ID, since my old-name passport says M and I sure as hell am not paying £90 for a new passport that says my correct name and still says “M” just to pay for another one in three years time when I obtain a GRC. I might consider paying for one with an X, since then I wouldn’t absolutely have to change it the second time.

      1. Carla, as far as I’m aware if you are in the UK you do not need a GRC to change the gender on your passport or driving licence. As far as I’m aware a letter from a GID specialist confirming you’re living full time in your new gender and copies of change of name deeds are sufficient.

        1. Amy is right – and in fact it doesn’t even need to be a GID specialist. My passport was reissued on the strength of a one-paragraph letter from my GP (plus my deed poll for changing the name).

          1. agreed. my bad for getting that bit wrong. However, the key point is that in australia, they are now shifting from a situation where you needed to be post-op to change gender to one where you may now be merely confirmed by a medical practitioner.


          2. Replying to Jane, but her comment has no button: I hope you have again mis-written, and meant to say that this is just to change a gender marker, instead of that a change of actual gender is effectuated by a doctor’s letter. The point is supposed to be that we have a gender from birth that doesn’t match our body, or the expectations that are heaped upon that body. So none of this can ever change our gender, only bring our sex to match that gender, affirm or recognise, or document what our gender has always been. Yes?

    3. As far as I have seen the information on this, trans people can not request an X, while Intersex people can not request a F if they were assigned M, and not M if they were assigned F.
      I guess it definitely is a big step for part of the T & I community, but it is holding on to boxes and preventing someone to ‘mistakenly’ being identified with a box ‘they should not be in’.

      As Australia has no marriage equality, I’m very curious what the effect of this might be on the posibility of especially Intersex people marrying a M, F or X labelled partner.

      1. Intersex people in Australia can be assigned F instead of the former M. No evidence of surgery is required.

        I know, I’m Australian (though born in the UK), Intersex, and transitioned.

        Because I’m Intersex, I can’t have a diagnosis of “transsexuality”, hence my UK birth certificate can’t be changed under the GRA. It still says “boy”. No GRC for me.

  2. I am so happy for many of my friends! Has been a real boost for all Australian progressives. One of my dearest friends can now get a letter from her specialist and finally get her passport updated after it has been sitting in a drawer for 4 years, an important piece of documentation that was simply a piece of history and nothing else!

  3. Angela Erde 17 Sep 2011, 9:55am

    Each and every time I look at my passport, sex is what is recorded in the field that has an F in it. Not gender. Sex. Two rather different things. Intersex is a question of sex. So is being male or female, under the binary sex system. Gender is man or woman, under the binary gender system.

  4. While the battle rages on about marriage, we see other signs of progress in AU. Cheers for them.

  5. I have a question for all of you ~ what would you recommend a pronoun for someone with Gender X would be? For Males we currently use he/him. For Females we use she/her. What would these be for someone of Gender X?

    The reason I’m asking is we just launched a new social utility called, which allows you to get personality insights for yourself and others. Our questions are all based on having either male or female peers, but we’d like to incorporate a Gender X option at some point in the future. Thank you for your consideration and response!

    1. Justin Vivian Bond (from the movie Shortbus, etc.) uses the gender-neutral term “v”, as in “V spoke about vself before answering questions the audience asked v”. Personally, I simply employ a singular “they” when speaking about people who do not adentify as male or female, as in “the award was given to them last September”.
      I hope that helps. :)

  6. Cam Langdon 22 Sep 2011, 3:07am

    Great idea, but not sure “X” is the right designation. Is it becuase it is linked to “sex”, and sex is considered X-rated???

  7. Cam Langdon 22 Sep 2011, 3:08am

    Also about the pronoun question that was raised – go with herm!

  8. I got the sex reference changed to “female” back in the 1990s before I had my sex affirmation surgery, though I was also given a particularly nasty, ugly letter from the passport office stating, in several paragraphs, that they in no way recognised my gender as female, they only changed it to avoid embarassing the country when I go overseas. It was a very nasty little letter, seemingly designed to hurt and cause offence, and it wasn’t even a proper letter, as what they gave me was a photocopy of a photocopy, on a plain piece of paper with no official letterhead, it wasn’t addressed to me personally, and it wasn’t signed by anyone. I’m glad people cannow alter teh sex designation, but there was obviously a period after when I got my passport where they stopped altering the sex designation… which means Australia became even more conservative… Now that gives me shivers!

  9. I’m sorry but i do not agree with putting an X on a passport. In my own opinion and i don’t want to offend anyone. People should either be considered Male or Female. Intersex people should choose one way or the other what gender they wanna be. I’m sure the majority of the British public agree with me on this one. I know someone who was born a hermaphrodite and they live their life as a female and and also agree with me that there is only 2 genders. Transgendered people in my opinion should be classed as the sex they are after surgery. Which i think is fair. Once again i do not want to offend anyone.

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