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UK Home Office considering gender-neutral passports

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  1. Dr Robin Guthrie 19 Sep 2011, 11:25am

    What’s its relevance anyway.

    What difference does a tick box stating that I have dangly bits have to do with any national security or travel rights.

    1. I guess if someone is pretending to be someone else, it could be determined on a strip search – but thats far fetched and about the only explanation I can think of at first thought

  2. The ICAO agreement covering passports makes the field mandatory – but allows “X” as “not stated”.

  3. The only reason I can think of for having gender stated on a passport would be to make it easier for border control/customs to identify what sex a person is in the event that they need to be frisked? Saves that age old awkward question “excuse me sir/miss, are you male or female?” Have I got my facts wrong to think one can only be intimately searched by the same sex?

    In any case if a traveller chooses to take this route, they couldn’t blame anyone else for the embarrassment caused. I do think it’s a major step forward for the intersex community, however.

    1. As was pointed out in the article, not everyone is male or female. As any trans person will tell you, being required to proclaim yourself to be of a sex/gender other than what you are is extremely denigrating, and in many cases dangerous, and this is what is done to intersex and genderqueer people all the time.

      Given your name, I’m assuming you’re a cisgendered man. How would you feel if every time you have to fill out an official document you’re forced to tick “woman” because that’s the only option you’re provided with?

    2. “excuse me sir/miss, are you male or female?”
      As a gay man, wouldn’t you actually feel less intimidated if searched by a female than if searched by a handsome male?

      An M can mean either a gay/straight/bi male OR a pre-op transgender woman OR a post-op transman. You don’t think a transwoman would prefer to be searched by another female even though she’s still got an M in her passport? It’s not the genitals that determine your preference for being searched by either gender, it’s about how you see yourself and how you see the other person.

      Personally I don’t care who searches me. They’re just doing their job for God’s sake.

  4. This move is pointlessly stupid. There is no point to it at all.

    Transsexual people change there sex and all sex indicators in identification.

    What sort of lunatics are lobbying MPs on this issue?

    1. Not all transsexual people identify as and/or live as (exclusively) male or female. Not all transsexual people change their sex to some binary ‘norm’. Intersex people EXIST, some of whom positively identify with having a body that they don’t regard as male or female. There is plenty of point to it to those that are marginalised and misrepresented by being erroneously regarded as male or female. Whether my ID has an M or an F on it, it has significant potential to cause issues when that doesn’t match my gender presentation or my body. We’re not lunatics to be lobbying against discrimination and marginalisation.

      1. Transsexuals need to live in the gender their brain tells them. Transsexuals need gender reassignment surgery. If someone says they dont want this then they are not transsexual. Transsexuality is an accpeted medical condition called gender dysphoria/gender identity disorder and data/research proves this. There is no data or research that proves those who identify as transgender have any form of medical condition. What the transgender community has done is hijack transsexual research and removed transsexual and used either trans or transgender.

        1. It’s a bit ridiculous to be so closed minded and cut off the rest of the trans community. I’m transsexual and I have friends who identify as genderqueer, transgender and intersex. This isn’t just crossdressers who can’t make their minds up, these are real people who feel that the gender binary system doesn’t leave room for their own unique gender expressions. We all need to stick together to fight for our rights or we’ll never achieve anything.

          1. But having a clearly and correctly sexed passport is one of our vital rights. Demanding sticking together on something that removes something so vital is outrageous abuse of the idea of solidarity. There must instead be a flexible solution that provides the different rights needed by diverse communities and indivuals within the population.

    2. Julian Morrison 19 Sep 2011, 2:19pm

      Trans people right now have to jump demeaning unnecessary non-medical hoops such as ending any marriage they are in to persuade the state to update their “official” sex. (What are you going to believe, a piece of paper or your own lying eyes? Paper, says the government.)

      1. There is hardly any hoop in changing the sex marker on a UK passport or driving license. A letter from any doctor, a very simple declaration, a form filled, a picture, and sometimes a fee. And for that you get something very solid and impressive.

        For someone non- or bi-gendered I totally agree it is an impossible barrier to get a doctor to write that, in their view, the change is permanent. There should be an X marker for them.

  5. Muir Dragonne 19 Sep 2011, 1:16pm

    As a bigender person, I really hope this goes through. My gender is fluid, going from male to female or a mixture of the two. As such, I prefer my gender marker on documents such as passports to be “undisclosed” or “other”. Being called “Mr” when I’m presenting as female, or “Ms” when I’m presenting as male is very uncomfortable and causes me extreme dysphoria.

    1. You dont have dysphoria and gender is not fluid. It is male or female not both. You have the right to express yourself as either but it still comes down to genitalia whether you like it or not. You transgender activists are seriously deluding yourself into believing you have a medical condition when no such data or research exists. It is pure fantasyfor which you have every right to believe. However society does not have the right to pander to your every whim. The binary code has worked on this planet for millions of years and managed very well. Chromosomes are male or female, There is no chromosomes for bigender, androgyne, gender queer or whatever exotic terms you come up with.

      1. I can send you a research article giving an overview of the medical and legal history relating to transgender people from the 1860’s until the present that completely contracts what you’ve just said. Not only does ample evidence suggest that there is a biological root of gender-variant behaviour, but scientifically it is almost impossible to define “male” or “female” at all.

        1. *contradicts

      2. Why don’t you make up your mind – does it come down to genitals, or to chromosomes? I wonder whether you’re aware of just how much diversity exists both in karyotype and anatomy within human populations. There’s a wide variety of intersex conditions, that work on a variety of levels, biologically. As a transsexual person, you must be aware that none of these biological factors acts as a definite determiner of a person’s gender identity, so it is odd that you try to use them as backing for your argument. It’s also odd that you accuse Muir Dragonne of “believing you have a medical condition” when they made no such claim. Why not allow that people may experience their gender identities in all sorts of different ways that you simply don’t have direct experience of?

      3. Muir Dragonne 19 Sep 2011, 4:34pm

        You don’t know me, so therefore can not tell me that I don’t have dysphoria. Gender is very fluid which is partly why you get feminine males and masculine females. If it wasn’t fluid, all females would be the stereotypical “girly girl” and all males would be the stereotypical “macho man”. The only thing that genitalia proves is who gets to fertilize the egg and who gets to carry the unborn baby for up to 9 months. As for research, there is tons of research out there about transgender and it’s many subsets. Ask me for some links and I’ll happily oblige.

  6. i don’t believe transsexual people want to be gender neutral

    1. FTM transsexuals just want to be male, MTF transsexuals just want to be female. Its the transgender who are muddy the waters for their own ends.

      1. OrtharRrith 19 Sep 2011, 8:51pm

        Don’t turn this into a crusade against transgender people! Why are you attacking transgender people in the exact same way as transsexual people have been (and still are) attacked?
        Clearly this is something that you do not understand, in much the same way as cisgender people don’t understand transsexual folk. But that is no excuse to attack people as you are.
        Everyone here is fighting for equality, the right to live their life as they see fit; without fear or persecution.
        We are talking about removing the gender marker on a passport, not abollishing gender altogether! This will leave people who are going through transition, intersex people and genderqueer people who are travelling, with an increased level of protection on their travels, as they would no longer be outed by their passport at every border. How bad is that? It’s a peice of paper – a book – that doesn’t say what gender you are legally, not the end of everything for transsexual people!

        1. When I first got my passport changed it was a really vital piece of evidence that I was a woman. One with a visible absence of indication of gender would have been excruciatingly embarassing with the fragile confidence I had then. Some of us still only have our passport as identification and will be horrified at that being messed with.

          You will find that almost all people want to be clearly identified by sex. The more prominent is knowledge of gender issues the more they will want to show certainty. That goes for most genuinely Intersex people too. You will not get a total removal of sex markers, and an “X” marker, which I certainly support, will have to be only by informed choice.

          1. Justus Eisfeld 20 Sep 2011, 5:31pm

            The proposal is not to list ‘x’ for some people, but to get rid of gender identifiers on the passports by listing *all* UK citizens as ‘x’, no matter what their gender (identity) is. This way, trans and intersex people will no longer stick out, and will hopefully face less hostility at passport checkpoints.
            As for frisking – everybody should be able to be frisked by a person of the gender they identify with at that time, I don’t think that this will lead to a lot of problems in practice – certainly not more problems than the ones that trans and intersex people face currently.
            I think it is a brilliant move that will hugely help trans, intersex and other gender non-conforming in their travel plans. This move will also be extremely helpful to get the relevant international agreements in line with the human rights of trans and intersex travelers.

  7. I don’t get this part “many in the trans community would oppose the removal of gender as its inclusion on passports is vital to ensure safety when travelling abroad.”

    How could a letter possibly prevent hate crime? If someone wants to blow yr head in ’cause you’re different, you show them your passport and they’ll run away?

    1. Can you imagine any woman or man who was born transsexual travelling to a country such as Dubai or the USA with an X as there sex on the passport?

      They would be interviewed by customs at minimum.

      European countries such as Germany, Denmark, Poland, France and Switzerland will not accept an X as a designator on passports. That would require major legislation in there respective countries.

      As for transsexual people themselves. Those intending to, undergoing or who have underwent sex reasignment surgery, will not want to be outed as indeterminate to any authorities. Most of them will take this move as an insult designed to attacks there hard won rights.

      Also any attempt to impose this onto the entire population of the United Kingdom will result in a backlash against transsexual people. That backlash will target transsexual people and avoid the transgenderists who dress up on a saturday night and then go back to there man job during the week.

  8. clumsygirl 4 Oct 2011, 7:37am

    intersex is just one of us.
    Crossing-over partial occurrence between X chromosome and Y chromosome is the key of intersex.

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