A Non Gender-specific Passport in the UK
Can we make it happen?

Christie Elan-Cane


Issue 51
Autumn 2010

Details of IPS address
nd further information
can be found at

I cannot resist the temptation to quote from the Obama presidential campaign and say "Yes, we can!!!"

This issue should concern every non-gendered United Kingdom passport holder now forced to accept inappropriate gendered classification in order to obtain a UK passport.

An internationally accepted standard for passport application data requirement permits the provision of three options under sex/gender field: M for male, F for female and X for unspecified.

It should therefore be possible for any citizen anywhere in the world whose core identity is non-gendered (neither M/F) to select the non gender-specific 'X' option.

It is unfortunate that the non gender-specific 'X' option is discretionary whereas the gendered options of 'M' and 'F' are mandatory elements for the passport application form.

A perceived lack of necessity within the mindsets of the governing bodies of most countries in selecting to exclude the third permitted option is only due to the social invisibility of all human existence outside the dominant gendered societal structure. There is also a general lack of will on the part of authorities to change established policy and procedures unless under pressure to enact such change brought about through a perceptible and determinable social visibility.

Now is the time for EVERY PERSON who is affected by this issue to make their voice heard. Now it is time for EVERY PERSON who is forced to accept inappropriate gendered categorisation in order to function within gendered society to respond to this call to act.

The Identity and Passport Service (IPS) are aware of the issue of human identity outside the gendered societal structure. The IPS have indicated a preparedness to "listen to the issues" and the organisation has to understand this particular issue will not go away.

Some recipients on this mailing list have already written to IPS but we shall undoubtedly need more. So if this affects you, I urge that you do not leave the work to others. Everyone has a part to play and the issue of social invisibility outside the gendered societal structure is far too important to be allowed to fail.

This initiative needs the support of EVERY non-gendered passport holder in the UK who is forced to accept inappropriate gendered classification.

This requires a response from EVERYONE affected by the particular issue of IPS lack of provision for human identity outside the gendered societal structure and enforced categorisation into inappropriate gendered roles.

We need to demonstrate that we are prepared to stand up and be counted in order to persuade the IPS to change current policy and include æXÆ the non gender-specific option under the sex/gender field on UK passport application forms.

Furthermore, it would be helpful when writing to IPS that you contact your own representative Member of Parliament and ask your MP to support the initiative.

The denial of existence is the worst act of discrimination by the gendered majority against the non-gendered.

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