Gender recognition

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Transgender equality symbol.

Recognition of non-binary gender identities in law and other paperwork is an important issue confronting modern society. This also deals with policies about transgender people in general, and related policies about intersex people. Recognition here means whether an organization acknowledges that such people exist and have valid identities, and the organization does this by routinely giving them a place where they aren't forced into being wrongly categorized as a gender that doesn't match their gender identity. In the case of recognition of nonbinary people, this means the system doesn't force them to wrongly say they are one of the binary genders (female or male). Through networking and activism, people can find out which organisations acknowledge non-binary genders, and can ask for acknowledgement from organisations that still need to do so.

For international recognition on the Internet, see websites and social networks.

Recognition worldwide

One international problem is that all passports list gender (usually there called "sex"),[1] and most countries require that gender to be either female or male.[2] A few countries allow passports to have a nonbinary gender marker, called X (unspecified), T (transgender or third gender), E (eunuch), I (intersex) or O (other), depending on the country. Having a nonbinary marker on one's passport can make it impossible to travel to a country whose passports don't give that option.[3]

Another global problem for transgender rights is that many countries require too much of a transgender person in order to allow them to have a legal transition. Many countries require proof of surgery in order to do this. Many countries even require transgender people to be sterilized in order to transition. International law calls compulsory sterilization a crime against humanity,[4][5] but it is still the law in many countries.

In the table below, countries are listed in alphabetical order, with a traffic light based colour code to make it easier to skim:

  • Blue means it's friendly to nonbinary people.
  • Yellow means it's somewhat friendly to nonbinary people.
  • Red means it's not friendly at all to nonbinary people.
  • white background means we don't have information about this yet, or some other situation (describe).
Country Nonbinary markers allowed on passports or other identity documents? Legal gender change requirements Other notes on transgender, nonbinary, and intersex rights and recognition
Australia Australia allows nonbinary and intersex people to get passports with the nonbinary gender marker "X (indeterminate/unspecified/intersex)," requiring only a letter from a doctor, not proof of surgery.[6] Can change birth certificate to "sex: not specified."[7] Can change birth certificate, including to a nonbinary option, "sex: not specified," if the person has had a "sex affirmation procedure".[8] However, they have to be unmarried at the time.[9]
Austria M or F only. As of June 2016, intersex activist Alex Jürgen is attempting to get a different gender recognised on both the birth certificate and the passport.[10] Doesn't require transgender people to be sterilized in order to have legal gender recognition.[11] It is possible to change to an ambiguous name. However, there are high fees for a name change unless one can prove to have a reason that is approved by the state. A name that doesn't correspond to the legal gender can also be chosen, but only as a second or third name - the name that is listed first has to correspond to the legal gender or be ambiguous.[12]
Argentina Argentina allows transgender people to get access to legal and medical resources they need to transition, without requiring these things in order to be legally recognized as their gender. They can change their legal gender based on their written declaration, without even a diagnosis.[13] See Argentina's Gender Identity Law as of 2012 here. While this law is said to be the most progressive transgender law in the world,[14] it doesn't directly mention intersex or nonbinary people.
Armenia Requires transgender people to be sterilized in order to have legal gender recognition.[11]
Azerbaijan Requires transgender people to be sterilized in order to have legal gender recognition.[11]
Bangladesh In 2011, started to allow passports to show a gender called "other".[15][16]
Belarus Doesn't require transgender people to be sterilized in order to have legal gender recognition.[11]
Belgium Requires transgender people to be sterilized in order to have legal gender recognition.[11]
Bolivia "Transgender people in Bolivia will soon be able to legally change their name, sex and gender."[17]
Bulgaria Requires transgender people to be sterilized in order to have legal gender recognition.[11]
Canada Currently, Canada doesn't allow people to get passports with a nonbinary gender marker, but politicians are working toward this.[18] Canadian citizens can also do activism to ask for this option to be introduced: How to: Apply for "sex unspecified" Canadian passport in protest. Beginning in June 2016, the government of Ontario started issuing all new health cards without an indication of sex or gender. In early 2017, Ontario Driver's licences will have an "X" option for sex. [19] Transgender persons can change their legal gender and name after completion of medical intervention in most provinces and territories (not required in Ontario, British Columbia, and Manitoba).[20][21][22][23] Explicit anti-discrimination protections for transgender people only in Alberta, Northwest Territories, Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Ontario, implicit elsewhere.
Colombia Since 2015, transgender persons can change their legal gender and name manifesting their solemn will before a notar, no surgeries or judicial order required.[24]
Croatia Requires transgender people to be sterilized in order to have legal gender recognition.[11]
Czech Republic Requires transgender people to be sterilized in order to have legal gender recognition.[11]
Denmark Denmark allows people to get passports with the gender marker X.[25] Since 2014, no longer requires sterilization, gender identity disorder diagnosis, or ending a marriage in order to change legal sex.[26] Requires applicants to be over 18, and to wait six months after applying before legal sex change takes effect.[27] Danish law includes protections against discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity/expression.[28][29] Danish law includes hate crimes legislation, which adds extra penalties for crimes committed against people because of their sexuality and for their gender identity or form of gender expression.[30]
Estonia Doesn't require transgender people to be sterilized in order to have legal gender recognition.[11]
Finland Requires transgender people to be sterilized in order to have legal gender recognition.[11]
France Requires transgender people to be sterilized in order to have legal gender recognition.[11] In 2015, for the first time, France allowed an intersex adult to change their birth certificate to "gender neutral".[31]
Georgia (country) Requires transgender people to be sterilized in order to have legal gender recognition.[11]
Germany Germany requires newborns with "ambiguous" genitals to have birth certificates with the gender marker "X", meaning no gender entry, to be changed to F or M later in life. Activists fear this will lead to even more pressure for nonconsensual surgery on intersex babies as parents are afraid of this stigmatizing non-marker.[32] Its passports still only allow binary options.[33] In 2011, Germany stopped requiring transgender people to be coercively sterilized in order to transition.[34] Some nonbinary people have legally adopted neutral names, arguing the TSG ("law on transsexuals") does not apply to them.[35]
Greece Requires transgender people to be sterilized in order to have legal gender recognition.[11]
India India allows passports to use the gender marker "T", meaning transgender,[36] as well as "E" (eunuch).[37]
Ireland M or F only. In 2015, Ireland passed a law allowing transgender adults to legally transition to either female or male only, without a requirement of medical intervention. Intersex and nonbinary people and minors are still left out.[38] Doesn't require transgender people to be sterilized in order to have legal gender recognition.[11]
Italy Doesn't require transgender people to be sterilized in order to have legal gender recognition.[11]
Japan Japan made legal transition possible in 2004. In order to get one, Japan requires that a transgender person must be unmarried, has never had children, has had genital surgery, and has been sterilized.[39]
Kenya In 2015, activists in Kenya are still working for the introduction of another gender option on official forms for people who don't identify as female or male, who may be intersex or transgender.[40]
Latvia Requires transgender people to be sterilized in order to have legal gender recognition.[11]
Lithuania Requires transgender people to be sterilized in order to have legal gender recognition.[11]
Malaysia Malaysia has no legislation for changing a legal sex, and instead deals with this on a case-by-case basis.
Malta In 2015, Malta is actively working toward allowing passports of transgender and intersex people to use an "X" gender marker, but this hasn't been resolved yet.[41] Doesn't require transgender people to be sterilized in order to have legal gender recognition.[11]
Montenegro Requires transgender people to be sterilized in order to have legal gender recognition.[11]
Nepal Allows passports to use an "X" gender marker.[42]
Netherlands Doesn't require transgender people to be sterilized in order to have legal gender recognition.[11]
New Zealand Allows passports to use a nonbinary gender option, X.[43] You can change it simply by applying for it.[44] Since 1995, in order to change the gender on your birth certificate, you need to show that you wish to live in your intended gender, and that you have undergone "medical treatment" for it.[45] You can change your driver's license simply by applying for it.[46]
Norway Requires transgender people to be sterilized in order to have legal gender recognition.[11]
Philippines This country doesn't allow transgender people to change their legal sex, but made an exception for an intersex person.
Poland Doesn't require transgender people to be sterilized in order to have legal gender recognition.[11]
Portugal Doesn't require transgender people to be sterilized in order to have legal gender recognition.[11]
Romania Requires transgender people to be sterilized in order to have legal gender recognition.[11] Genital surgery is required in order to change legal sex.[47] Allowed to marry in accordance with new legal sex.
Russia Requires transgender people to be sterilized in order to have legal gender recognition.[11]
Serbia Requires transgender people to be sterilized in order to have legal gender recognition.[11]
Slovakia Requires transgender people to be sterilized in order to have legal gender recognition.[11]
Slovenia Requires transgender people to be sterilized in order to have legal gender recognition.[11]
South Africa Since 2003, legal gender can be changed after medical treatment. Hormone therapy is seen as enough, surgery isn't required.[48] Anti-discrimination laws are interpreted to include gender identity.
South Korea In 2013 a court ruled that transsexuals can change their legal sex without undergoing genital surgery.[49]
Spain Doesn't require transgender people to be sterilized in order to have legal gender recognition.[11]
Sweden In 2012, Sweden stopped requiring transgender people to be coercively sterilized in order to transition,[50] and in 2014, stopped requiring a mental health diagnosis in order to get legal gender recognition.[51]
Switzerland Requires transgender people to be sterilized in order to have legal gender recognition.[11]
Turkey Requires transgender people to be sterilized in order to have legal gender recognition.[11]
United Kingdom As of 2015, some politicians are working to introduce passports with an option for an X gender marker.[52] In 2015, the Ministry of Justice refused to allow a nonbinary legal gender.[53] In order to legally transition, you're first required to have a diagnosis of gender dysphoria, and to have lived as your gender for two years, but you're not required to have had surgery.[54] In 2015, the Ministry of Justice stated that, unlike binary trans people, nonbinary people aren't protected under equality law.[55][56] In the UK, most kinds of paperwork and ID show a person's title, which is the main place where gender shows on those documents. Recognition of the gender-neutral title "Mx" is coming to be widespread.
United States of America All US official identity documents (passports, birth certificates, driver's licenses, and so on) that record gender (called "sex" in those documents) require people to be called either female or male, with no nonbinary options. This makes problems not only for people who have always lived in the country. The US State Department has no process for dealing with people who have nonbinary passports from other countries.[57] In 2016, Jamie Shupe of Oregon became the first person in the USA whose legal sex is "non-binary,"[58] and uses identity documents that typically don't display sex (military retiree and social security cards), but the DMV doesn't yet allow nonbinary driver's licenses.[59] Each state has different laws regarding legal transition. Most states require proof of surgery in order to legally transition, and the rest require a letter from a doctor saying you've had some kind of transition. In the USA, documents and ID rarely show a person's title.

See also

External links

References

  1. Lauren Bishop. "Gender and Sex Designations for Identification Purposes: A Discussion on Inclusive Documentation for a Less Assimilationist Society." 30 Wis. J.L. Gender & Soc'y 131, 134-35. Fall 2015 (containing a broad comparative discussion of this problem in academic legal scholarship). available at http://hosted.law.wisc.edu/wordpress/wjlgs/fall-2015-volume-xxx-no-2/
  2. "X gender markers on passports." http://lgbt.libdems.org.uk/en/page/x-gender-markers-on-passports
  3. Aron Macarow. "These Seven Countries are Way Ahead of the US on Trans Issues." February 9, 2015. Attn. http://www.attn.com/stories/868/transgender-passport-status
  4. As quoted by Guy Horton in Dying Alive - A Legal Assessment of Human Rights Violations in Burma April 2005, co-Funded by The Netherlands Ministry for Development Co-Operation. See section "12.52 Crimes against humanity", Page 201. He references RSICC/C, Vol. 1 p. 360
  5. Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court http://legal.un.org/icc/statute/romefra.htm
  6. https://www.passports.gov.au/web/sexgenderapplicants.aspx
  7. "NSW Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages v Norrie [2014] HCA 11 (2 April 2014)" . High Court of Australia. 2 April 2014. Retrieved 16 May 2015. http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/cases/cth/HCA/2014/11.html
  8. "NSW Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages v Norrie [2014] HCA 11 (2 April 2014)" . High Court of Australia. 2 April 2014. Retrieved 16 May 2015. http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/cases/cth/HCA/2014/11.html
  9. "BIRTHS, DEATHS AND MARRIAGES REGISTRATION ACT 1995 - SECT 32B Application to alter register to record change of sex" . Retrieved 26 July 2015. http://www5.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/nsw/consol_act/bdamra1995383/s32b.html
  10. "Austria may legally recognize 3rd gender as intersex person challenges authorities in court." RT. June 23, 2016. https://www.rt.com/news/347857-austria-intersex-person-lawsuit/
  11. 11.00 11.01 11.02 11.03 11.04 11.05 11.06 11.07 11.08 11.09 11.10 11.11 11.12 11.13 11.14 11.15 11.16 11.17 11.18 11.19 11.20 11.21 11.22 11.23 11.24 11.25 11.26 11.27 11.28 11.29 11.30 "Trans Rights Europe Map & Index 2016." Transgender Europe. http://tgeu.org/trans-rights_europe_map_2016/
  12. "Vornamensänderung." TransX. http://www.transx.at/Pub/Recht_Vornamen.php
  13. "Argentina Adopts Groundbreaking Gender Identity Law." Transgender Europe. May 10, 2012. http://tgeu.org/argentina-adopts-ground-breaking-gender-identity-law/
  14. "FAQ about identity documents." Lambda Legal. http://www.lambdalegal.org/know-your-rights/transgender/identity-document-faq
  15. http://www.attn.com/stories/868/transgender-passport-status
  16. Tristin Hopper, "Genderless passports ‘under review’ in Canada." May 8, 2012. National Post. http://news.nationalpost.com/news/canada/genderless-passports-under-review-in-canada
  17. Joe Williams, "Trans people win right to change name and gender in Bolivia." November 28, 2015. Pink News (news). http://www.pinknews.co.uk/2015/11/28/trans-people-win-right-to-change-name-and-gender-in-bolivia/
  18. RJ Vandrish. "Passport Canada rejects sex-unspecified passports." October 4, 2014. Daily Xtra (news). http://www.dailyxtra.com/canada/news-and-ideas/news/passport-canada-rejects-sex-unspecified-passports-93929
  19. https://news.ontario.ca/mgs/en/2016/06/gender-on-health-cards-and-drivers-licences.html
  20. Northwest Territories Human Rights Act, S.N.W.T. 2002, c.18. Section 5.
  21. "Ontario passes law to protect transgender people" CBC News June 13, 2012. Accessed June 13, 2012 http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/story/2012/06/13/ontario-gender-equality.html
  22. http://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/topic.page?id=C53953157EE344A681EFD28325B526F4
  23. http://vitalstats.gov.mb.ca/change_of_sex_designation.html
  24. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LGBT_rights_by_country_or_territory#cite_note-143
  25. "Denmark: X in Passports and New Trans Law Works." Transgender Europe. September 12, 2014. http://tgeu.org/denmark-x-in-passports-and-new-trans-law-work/
  26. "Denmark becomes Europe’s leading country on legal gender recognition | The European Parliament Intergroup on LGBTI Rights" . Lgbt-ep.eu. 2014-06-12. Retrieved 2015-04-10. http://www.lgbt-ep.eu/press-releases/denmark-becomes-europes-leading-country-on-legal-gender-recognition/
  27. World must follow Denmark's example after landmark transgender law http://www.amnesty.org/en/en/news/denmark-transgender-law-2014-06-12
  28. State-sponsored Homophobia A world survey of laws criminalising same-sex sexual acts between consenting adults
  29. Main legislation
  30. State-sponsored Homophobia A world survey of laws criminalising same-sex sexual acts between consenting adults http://old.ilga.org/Statehomophobia/ILGA_State_Sponsored_Homophobia_2013.pdf
  31. Joseph Patrick McCormick. "France legally recognises person as ‘gender neutral’ for the first time." Pink News. October 15, 2015. [1]
  32. "German proposals for a “third gender” on birth certificates miss the mark". OII Australia. [2]
  33. Friederike Heine, "M, F or Blank: 'Third Gender' Official in Germany from November." August 16, 2013. Spiegel Online International (news). http://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/third-gender-option-to-become-available-on-german-birth-certificates-a-916940.html
  34. "German Federal Court Outlawing Forced Sterilisation (2011)." Transgender Europe. January 7, 2015. http://tgeu.org/german-federal-court-verdict-on-forced-sterilisation-2011/
  35. "Namensänderung ohne Transsexuellengesetz". nibiTrans*Ich (blog).[3]
  36. Mitch Kellaway. "Trans Indian's Predicament at Border Shows the U.S. Lags Behind." May 9, 2015. Advocate. http://www.advocate.com/politics/transgender/2015/05/09/trans-indian-womans-predicament-border-shows-us-lags-behind
  37. Tristin Hopper, "Genderless passports ‘under review’ in Canada." May 8, 2012. National Post. http://news.nationalpost.com/news/canada/genderless-passports-under-review-in-canada
  38. http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/jul/16/ireland-transgender-law-gender-recognition-bill-passed
  39. http://www.impowr.org/content/current-legal-framework-transgender-issues-japan
  40. Lydia Matata, "Identifying as Neither Male Nor Female, Some Kenyans Seek a Third Option on Official Documents." December 1, 2015. Global Press Journal. http://globalpressjournal.com/africa/kenya/identifying-as-neither-male-nor-female-some-kenyans-seek-a-third-option-on-official-documents/#
  41. Aron Macarow. "These Seven Countries are Way Ahead of the US on Trans Issues." February 9, 2015. Attn. http://www.attn.com/stories/868/transgender-passport-status
  42. Clarissa-Jan Lim. "New "Third Gender" Option on Nepal Passports Finally Protects the Rights of LGBT Community." Bustle. January 8, 2015. http://www.bustle.com/articles/57466-new-third-gender-option-on-nepal-passports-finally-protects-the-rights-of-lgbt-community
  43. Clarissa-Jan Lim. "New "Third Gender" Option on Nepal Passports Finally Protects the Rights of LGBT Community." Bustle. January 8, 2015. http://www.bustle.com/articles/57466-new-third-gender-option-on-nepal-passports-finally-protects-the-rights-of-lgbt-community
  44. http://www.wclc.org.nz/wp-content/uploads/How-to-change-your-name-and-gender-under-New-Zealand-law.pdf
  45. http://www.wclc.org.nz/wp-content/uploads/How-to-change-your-name-and-gender-under-New-Zealand-law.pdf
  46. http://www.wclc.org.nz/wp-content/uploads/How-to-change-your-name-and-gender-under-New-Zealand-law.pdf
  47. "Transsexualismul in Romania" . Accept Romania. Retrieved 2 December 2012. http://accept-romania.ro/lgbt-issues/trans/
  48. "Changing your name and gender in your identity document: the Alteration of Sex Description Act 49 of 2003" (PDF). Gender Dynamix. Retrieved 29 September 2013. http://www.genderdynamix.org.za/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/Act-49-English.pdf
  49. Template:Cite news
  50. "Swedish Verdict outlawing forced Sterilisation (2012)." Transgender Europe. http://tgeu.org/administrative-court-of-appeal-in-stockholm-on-sterilisation-requirement-in-gender-recognition-legislation-19-dec-2012/
  51. "Swedish Court outlaws diagnosis requirement." September 7, 2014. Transgender Europe. http://tgeu.org/administrative-court-in-stockholm-striking-out-diagnosis-in-gender-recognition-16-05-2014/
  52. "Gender neutral passports move a step closer to reality after Labour backing." http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/gender-neutral-passports-move-a-step-closer-to-reality-after-labour-backing-10123734.html
  53. https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/104639
  54. https://www.gov.uk/apply-gender-recognition-certificate/changing-your-gender
  55. https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/104639
  56. http://beyondthebinary.co.uk/specificdetriment-what-you-told-us/
  57. Jenny Kutner. "U.S. State Department has no process for accepting transgender passports." May 7, 2015. Salon. http://www.salon.com/2015/05/07/u_s_state_department_has_no_process_for_accepting_transgender_passports/
  58. Casey Parks, "Oregon court allows person to change sex from 'female' to 'non-binary'." June 10, 2016. The Oregonian (news). http://www.oregonlive.com/portland/index.ssf/2016/06/oregon_court_allows_person_to.html
  59. Bob Heye, "Oregon DMV says they can't issue driver's license for non-binary individual." Katu News. http://local21news.com/news/local/oregon-dmv-says-they-cant-issue-drivers-license-for-non-binary-individual