Canada May Get Genderless Passports Soon

By Diane Anderson-Minshall

Originally published on Advocate.com May 09 2012 5:36 PM ET

A new report today in La Presse newspaper in Canada suggests that soon Canadians may be able to apply for genderless passports — some form of national passport that does not reveal the carrier's gender.

“Passport Canada policy in relation to the gender indicated on passports is the subject of a review,” reads the report, and the National Post reported that Passport Canada spokeswoman Béatrice Fénelon  said Tuesday that “the policy regarding transgender people is still under review.”

The National Post suggests that Canada could follow the example of Australia, which allows citizens to mark their sex as “X” for indeterminate, rather than “M” or “F.”  The issue came to a head last July after the changes to the Aeronautics Act prohibited airlines from seating a passenger if that person "does not appear to be of the gender indicated on the identification he or she presents.”

Currently, Canadians — like Americans — can change the gender on their passports only after having gender reassignment surgery, which makes it impossible for many trans people who can't afford or are unable to undergo surgery for other reasons.

The Post also reported that officials in the U.K. are considering a change to their passport process for transgender citizens, and Bangladesh and India allow trans women to list their gender as "other" or "eunich" respectively.