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Please state your sex: is it M, F or X?

September 4, 2017 Headline News No Comments Email Email

In a radical passport sex change, Canada has adopted a new gender – and the trend may spread to Australia.

To the delight of a lobby group named LGBTQQIP2SAA, anyone obtaining a passport from now on can choose a third gender, instead of the traditional M or F.

The third gender is neutral and is denoted as ‘X’. Canada’s Ministry of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship has announced that the new gender designation is now available for people who are neither male nor female – or those who don’t identify as either.

It is unclear what the letter X stands for, if anything. The X gender is not yet available on Australian passports, which (like most of the world’s passports) carry the designation M or F immediately under the birth date, signifying the bearer’s gender.

In Canada, you can now also state X on immigration documents, following legal changes adopted last week, Canada’s Ministry of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship has confirmed.

A two spirit contingent marches at San Francisco Pride 2014. Wikipedia Commons

“By introducing an ‘X’ gender designation in our government-issued documents, we are taking an important step towards advancing equality for all Canadians regardless of gender identity or expression,” Minister Ahmed Hussen said.

The initiative is the latest in a series of policy changes supported by Canada’s Bill C-16, which defends the rights of transgender people and makes it illegal to discriminate based on “gender identity or expression”, the Canadian Press reports.

One group that has been advocating the change is LGBTQQIP2SAA, possibly the world’s most cumbersome acronym. It stands for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Questioning, Queer, Intersex, Pansexual, Two-spirit (2S), Androgynous, Asexual and Ally.

For the record, the term “Two-spirit” in LGBTQQIP2SAA’s full title is “a modern umbrella term used by some indigenous North Americans to describe certain spiritual people – gay, lesbian, bisexual and gender-variant individuals – in their communities”, Wikipedia states.

Last year, the Canadian province of British Columbia became the first place on Earth to issue a birth certificate without gender specification. Most countries still recognise only two sexes and consider that whether a person is male or female is of some importance. How will immigration bureaucracies at foreign airports deal with a third gender called X when it is not on their forms? That remains to be seen.

In Ontario, X is already in use on the province’s licences.

Polls indicate that most Canadians (58%) are still uncomfortable with gender-neutral birth certificates.

While Canada’s revolutionary new regulations may eventually sweep the world, critics view them as political correctness gone mad. Some claim the new rules make a simple matter unnecessarily complicated – though not as complicated as the term LGBTQQIP2SAA.

Written by Peter Needham

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