UK Govt Asked To Recognise Non-Binary Gender
...and this time it'll probably work!
People are asking the British Government to allow the use of X markers on passports
This isn't the first time a campaign has asked the British Government to canonise non-binary gender, but this time it's different. This time there is a single demand: the availability of the gender marker X on passports.
So why this of all things?
I'm glad you asked that! Back in November an Early Day Motion was tabled. EDM660 calls for X markers to be made available to British Citizens. The text of EDM660 has recently come to light, and since then an official petition supporting EDM660 has gained a thousand signatures in less than three days! Supporting an existing Parliamentary motion is one way in which citizens can have a real impact on Parliamentary process. In short: we've got a good shot at this happening!
How hard is it to add X markers?
Not at all! Existing aviation treaties have established three valid gender markers: M, F, and X. This means that the UK Border Agency is already processing foreign passports marked with an X. All this would do, in simple terms, is let British passport-holders make use of a facility which the government already extends to holders of other passports.
But can you take it abroad?
Of course! The X marker is stipulated by the International Civil Aviation Organisation. Countries can choose not to issue it to their own citizens but those who have it still get to fly. And with a major player like Britain taking the lead it'll only become more common.
Will this have bigger consequences?
Yes! The first and greatest of these being that genderqueer, genderfluid, androgyne, and otherwise non-binary folks in the UK will have paperwork that reflects their identity. Moreover, they will be able to obtain passports without having to lie about their identity by ticking the M or F box. This is huge! My passport says F, not X, and therefore I had to defraud myself to get it. The X option eliminates that dilemma at a stroke!
The other consequence is that those few holdouts who don't yet include a third tickbox on their paperwork will have to draw one in. It really is the most minor bureaucratic exercise and well worth it for the benefits.