Ask the Lawyer: I am nonbinary – can I get a Gender X passport in the UK?
PinkNews brings you the latest in a series of features which sees your real questions answered by leading lawyers at Simpson Millar.
The latest question comes from a person who is nonbinary and wants to know if they can get a passport which marks their gender as X in the UK.
The reader asks: “I am trans and identify as non-binary. I prefer gender-neutral pronouns and don’t always identify as male or female. On my passport, birth certificate, and other documents I am registered as female. I know the UK doesn’t officially recognise gender ‘x’ or any non-binary gender options, but is there anything I can do legally to be recognised as non-binary?”
A Simpson Millar lawyer answers, saying: “This area of law is currently governed by the Gender Recognition Act 2004.
“Whilst this legislation does recognise acquired male and female genders, it does not go as far as to grant legal recognition to non-binary gender. The current legal framework also does not acknowledge non-binary status that may have been acquired in another country. This means that the legal options for obtaining recognition as non-binary are currently limited.
But, there are some practical steps you can take to obtain recognition as non-binary. For example, some institutions such as banks now allow customers to use the prefix ‘Mx’ as opposed to ‘Mr’, ‘Mrs’ or ‘Miss’. This is an area of law that’s developing and we may see changes over the coming months and years.”
Adding: “The Government Equalities Office recently invited the public to complete a National LGBT survey, which has now closed. This survey had the intention of informing plans to improve LGBT equality. At this point, the Government is analysing the feedback and will publish its findings soon.
“In October, Christie Elan-Cane was also granted permission to seek a Judicial Review of the decision of the Home Office not to allow individuals to mark their gender with ‘X’ on passport applications. The outcome of this case and the above consultation may prompt reform, which has the effect of broadening the legal options available to those who wish to be recognised as non-binary in the UK.”
Disclosure: Simpson Millar is a PinkNews advertiser