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UK: Deputy Lib Dem leader ‘really disappointed’ at IPS rejection of trans and intersex inclusive passports

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  1. “‘X’ passports would represent a threat to security”

    Some of the very finest horse manure there.

    And if only binary gendered border guards are available to conduct searches – first, that suggests problems with recruitment that need addressing, and second, offer anyone with an ‘X’ their choice of staffer from the two available. Simples.

    1. Agreed. It really does seem that the UK passport office do not see un-gendered people as humans.

  2. Robert in S. Kensington 22 Apr 2013, 12:15pm

    Absolutely disgraceful. This is the same man though who voted yes to equal marriage, but said he will vote against the ‘timetabling’ of the bill claiming it has been rushed far too quickly and has caused division and offence to people of religious beliefs. Despicable!

    1. Please read the article. Simon Hughes is acting as a constituency MP, referring a resident’s case to the IPS and reporting back. He’s not saying that non-binary-gendered people shouldn’t have an X marker on their passport.

  3. Colin (London) 22 Apr 2013, 12:44pm

    Eh…. Tell the lazy behind the times sods to get over themselves and get on with the change quickly and efficiently. If they don’t like it look for another job. The world is moving on and being inclusive, and with a can do attitude.

  4. It seems that IPS is applying double standards. It allows a trans person pre surgery to have the new gender marker even before legal recognition. It will also grant a GRC holder who has not had surgery a gender marker inconsistent with the person’s physical sex. Thus the claim that granting an X marker for those outside the gender binary is a security risk is total rubbish.

    The problem is compounded by those outside the gender binary not being covered under ‘gender reassignment’ in the 2010 Equality Act.

    The GRA (for example) needs amending to allow such folk to be granted a new Birth Certificate with an X marker and then the IPS will have no excuse. Non gendered folk would then presumably be covered by the Equality Act.

  5. If it’s such a security risk, how are travellers from Australia and New Zealand handled?

  6. I don’t understand why this is such a big deal. Surely they’re not saying that the whole system will fall apart if they add a third option….

    It makes no real difference to the boarder security teams, who are, quite frankly, pretty useless. But if can make a massive difference to those individuals who need this third option.

  7. This is typical of the closed minds of bureaucrats whose view of the world is so simplified it bears little resemblance to real life. I am the Director of the UK Intersex Association (UKIA) and I know just how ill-informed many officials are.

    Even when they manage to work out that the word ‘gay’ does not always mean “happy’ and that transwomen are not ‘men in frocks’ they still stumble over what the term ‘intersex’ means.

    In-fact it means that 1 in 2000 live births present with a phenotype that is a combination of ‘male’ & ‘female’ anatomy (but NOT a full set of each). There are even greater numbers who can be identified as a’ variation’ of male or female. What is not generally known is that despite the promises made during debate re. the Gender Recognition Act, intersex people who wish to transition from the gender role (and often surgically imposed physical sex) accorded them at birth, still cannot change their birth registration.

    1. I was under the impression that pre-GRA, intersexed individuals were able to change their birth certificates on the grounds that they had been incorrectly assigned at birth to a gender. Does this not now apply?

      1. Felix Garnet 25 Apr 2013, 5:01pm

        Helen – UK law is in a shambles over this now. See

        Some intersex people also do not wish to be boxed in as one or the other sex and prefer to maintain an intersex identity as a natural occurrence of birth, so would like the option of X.

      2. The GRA was a godsend to Trans people – and a catastrophe for those who are Intersex. It overturned previous caselaw.

        It’s possible for someone Intersex to get their Birth Certificate corrected – if they can get two doctors present at the birth to give written testimony. Too bad if you were born at home with no doctor present, or in hospital with only one.

        The GRA requires a diagnosis of “Gender Dysphoria”. The all-lawyer GRP, in its wisdom, has interpreted that to mean a diagnosis of Transsexuality as defined in the WHO’s ICD-10 manual. Any Intersex condition precludes such a diagnosis.

        Which is why my UK birth certificate says “boy”, despite my medical diagnosis being “severe androgenisation of a non-pregnant woman” due to the 3BHSD form of CAH.

        At least my UK passport says “F”.

  8. There is a significant minority of intersex people who do not ID as male or female. Why therefore do they have to lie when completing a passport application? Surely including false information is an offence?

    Those who do not ID as either male of female have already been placed in the invidious position of possibly having to lie about their gender identity in order to marry under the present law, or even if (I prefer to say “when”) the same-sex marriage bill goes through. UKIA is presently campaigning to sort out this mess.

  9. Indi Kelly Edwards 23 Apr 2013, 4:31am

    I’m an Aussie and along with Canadians I already have that right. What if someone with an X wants to come to the UK? Then what???

  10. David Brogan 23 Apr 2013, 2:16pm

    The response from the IPS is a disgrace. The spurious reasons given for rejection represent bigotry and a lack of willingness to embrace change, rather than rational thinking. In the interests of true equality, and the betterment of all in society, it is essential that this decision is reversed. If X passports are allowed in a number of other Commonwealth countries, it is ludicrous that this is not the case with the UK.

  11. If making sure someone of the appropriate gender is searching someone of the appropriate gender is so important, why do you want to force people into giving false information about their gender?

  12. Tonight I was subject to some vehemently sexist, homophobic and transphobic abuse from a woman (backed up by her boyfriend) when I questioned their defense of rape jokes and tried to explain how these rape jokes were offensive even when told by a comic on stage (I was called a tranny and a dyke) and left at the behest of a man who identified as Martin Williams and Martin Philips (he kept flitting between the two names when pushed) at Castle pub, Aberystwyth (this is to be distinguished from ship and castle which is a different place) I am disgusted.

  13. security threat is a red herring. Any fool who wants to be a spy or terrorist hardly needs to apply to the passports office for an X ..they pay a few hundred quid to a forger and get all the details they need. Israel for instance prints them on demand for its spy network as do all the other nations.
    It is a vile lie to conflate people with a legitimate need of an X with terrorism..Its no different to the conflation of gay men with paedophilia

  14. Rebecca/ my PP says Martin [M] 18 Jun 2013, 11:05am

    at the end of the day her argument in the news report is completly pointless and redundant

    if its NS wouldnt it make sense to adopt this [x] so that ppl wouldnt be miss lead her argument is terrible and clearly was just thrown out there for the sake of blocking the movement perhaps for personal views as that argument is completely contradictory to its reasoning

    if i get a [F] but still have my male parts ppl might see that as missleading and could be a threat to NS and same if iv got a [M] but completely pass as female … if i had [X][F] then it would be clear to them and i would trust a professional member of staff at customs to respect me and call me miss etc

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