Australia Creates Third Gender Option For Citizens on Passports

In a victory for transgender citizens, the Australian government has decided that passports will now have three rather than two options for designating gender: male, female, and indeterminate. The latter will be designated with an “X”.

Those citizens who are biologically not entirely male or female have the third category. Moreover, birth certificates will not have to be changed to claim the third option.

U.S. rules were changed last year for transgender people. However, certification of a surgery is still required to qualify (though not sexual reassignment surgery):

Beginning June 10, when a passport applicant presents a certification from an attending medical physician that the applicant has undergone appropriate clinical treatment for gender transition, the passport will reflect the new gender. The guidelines include detailed information about what information the certification must include. It is also possible to obtain a limited-validity passport if the physician’s statement shows the applicant is in the process of gender transition. No additional medical records are required. Sexual reassignment surgery is no longer a prerequisite for passport issuance. A Consular Report of Birth Abroad can also be amended with the new gender.

Source: Daily Mail

15 thoughts on “Australia Creates Third Gender Option For Citizens on Passports”

  1. Think of the bathroom possibilities for the completely correct society:

    X=> Y
    Y=> X
    and finally ?????

    Probably more can be imagined!

  2. Well damn me for being slow as molasses Pete, that was darn clever too and I missed it at first release! Thanks though for the re-run ’cause a chuckle with supper is always welcome. I should have known though, you are one of the posters here with, generally, a light and humorous touch. Thanks for the belated giggle. The ‘son having less surgery than Cher’ is probably true and icing on the cake 🙂

    The rest of your posting is certainly true. There are many, many worse philosophy’s than I’ll mind my own business if you mind yours. If you can’t demand or expect understanding then the least you should be able to expect is that people and the govt. adopt MYOB as a governing principle.

  3. lotta

    i was just making a poor joke that “I” or incomplete was for pre-op.

    i’ve been hearing a lot the past few days about the important show “dancing with the stars” having cher’s son on. to me the funny part is that even with gender change he has still had less surgery done than cher has. in both cases it’s between them and their doctors what medical procedures they have had or will have done.

    there have always been people who don’t fit into the round peg, square hole norms for gender identity. how other people see themselves is their business, not mine and definitely not any governments.

  4. Hi Pete,

    For a person that is Intersex and does not choose surgery “X” is to be used. I was making a semi-snarky remark. “Intersex” is a valid designation and not a pejorative to my knowledge, a symbol recognized to mean ‘unknown’ didn’t quite fit IMO. It’s for good reason I’m not a professional satirist. 🙂

    The problem may be that the terms “gender” and “sex” are commonly used interchangeably when they have quite different meanings. The article below does that. .

    Here’s a quote from a different article:

    “Australian citizens can now choose male, female or indeterminate as their gender on their passports.”

    “Transgender people can pick whether they are male or female if their choice is supported by a doctor, while intersex people, biologically not entirely male or female, can list their gender as ‘X’.”

    Do passports have a space for “Sex” or “Gender”? I have an old passport and it says “Sex”, do they now say “Gender”?

  5. If the new rules are written for Intersex people shouldn’t “I” be the designation? “X” is actually kind of a put-down in that historically “X” is a well known signifier for ‘unknown’, an unknown factor.

    LoL, picky, picky, picky.

  6. Allowing options beyond the male-female binary is of course only logical.
    But why would one denote gender on a passport and not sex?

    Gender is basically self-identification. That is of course more meaningful to the person his/herself and their role in society than the random (and also not binary) configuration of “the plumbing.”

    But for the sake of establishing identity, it might be better to use comparably meaningless biological markers like eye color and sex instead of personally meaningful but unprovable self-identifications like religion or gender…

  7. Culheath,

    Help with that…Will this be a brand new classification….and if so…do you know if other Country’s have to allow the person admittance…if they do not agree with the “indeterminacy” section….I am curious as I do not truly understand the repercussions…

    Also, Thanks for the heads up…

  8. AY,
    It’s about gender indeterminacy rather than transition. Transsexuals will not be allowed to use the designation for example.

    We’ve got a long road ahead of us in this country before gender fluidity becomes normalized.

  9. During a visit to Windsor, Ontario, I entered a municipal building, in which all of the rooms were named, rather than numbered. They were named for British or Canadian counties like Essex and Sussex.

    The men’s room and ladies’ rooms were not side by side; they were separated by one room – named “Middlesex.”

  10. Ok….Just because a country issues a passport…does that mean that another country has to accept its validity…..Or will the International Treaty’s force the “Entry” country’s to accept and keep a third gender in the data base?

    If I read what you wrote…it is just a Gender Reclassification…Male to Female or Female to Male….and thus the Classification is the Same…Male or Female…Not One of Each….

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