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Canada considering new gender options for passports


 

The agency in charge of issuing Canadian passports is reviewing its policies towards gender, according to a report from the Montreal daily La Presse.

A note obtained by the Quebec newspaper under access to information request confirms that Passport Canada has placed the issue under review, and a spokesperson for the agency confirmed the review on Tuesday. It is yet unknown what kind of process for transgender individuals Passport Canada take, whether passport applicants will have an additional third gender to choose from or if transgender individuals will be allowed to apply under their new gender without having undergone sex reassignment surgery.

From the National Post:

Although the details of the change are not yet known, Canada may follow the Australian example and allow Canadians to mark their sex as “X” rather than “M” or “F.” Or the agency may simply streamline the process for transgendered people to obtain a passport denoting their new sex.

Under current requirements, Canadians can change the sex on their passport only if they provide medical proof of having undergone gender-reassignment surgery. If they are still in transition they can obtain a temporary two-year passport by furnishing medical documents showing the surgery is scheduled for sometime in the next 12 months.

Critics note the policy effectively excludes a minority of transgendered people who identify with a different gender, yet are unwilling or unable to undergo genital surgery.


 
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Canada considering new gender options for passports

  1. This will make it less humiliating for people who identify as third gender to travel. Bravo Canada for for recognizing all it’s people and following the lead of the UK and Australia governments. My question is this; will the government now recognize “third gender” folk who marry under the Canadian civil marriage act. Mrs. Ms. Mx.?

  2. Why are we putting so much emphasis on recognising every single group out there. I understand gay/lesbian rights; they’re actually predisposed to their sexual lifestyle. But, now we have to recognise extensive artifical changes? You can be born black, white, asian, gay, lesbian, handicapped, ugly or beautiful – but you really can’t be born an “it” (maybe 1/1×10^9). You are definately either a man or a woman and if you don’t like it than tough tities or maybe…pectorals?

    • There are definitely people who are born without clear membership in either binary gender category. Some people (the runner, Caster Semenya, for instance), are born with the genitalia of both genders, some with neither. What are they? You imply that such people are rare, but a lot of that is because people with ambiguous sexual characteristics are pushed into one gender or another after they are born.

      Moreover, most of the traits we associate with gender are related to hormones, the distribution of which is NOT binary. Plus people with either set of genitalia can take hormones and change dramatically (and I’d say most of the people making that choice are as predisposed to the gender they choose – if not moreso, given the incredible obstacles they must overcome in making the choice to change gender, or adopt a distinct gender identity). What is more, the point of passports is to help identify people. Forcing people to put down descriptions that don’t accurately describe them does not serve that purpose. Anyway, what do we lose by recognizing the existence of groups of people that exist?

      • What do we loose? How about paying an unecessary percentage of our tax-payers budget toward more bureaucracy, how about the possibility that a legally accepted women has no responsibility to state “her” gender as otherwise because she’s identified as a woman? The list could continue.

        Congenital sexual ambiguity makes up for less than 1% of all child births, a statistic that is far less than the existence of transgender populations. Unfortunately our passport should represent our true identity not what we choose our identity to be. For those with a predetermined medical condition, naturally, the choice should fall on the balance of hormones which will pursued them one way or another. But for the rest of us, the choice to do what we want to our bodies will always be ours – but the need to be recognised for those choices shouldn’t be.

        • Says who though? Who says that it should be that way? Why must there be a barrier?

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