Canadians Can Choose `X` as Gender Identification on Passports

Canadians Can Choose `X` as Gender Identification on Passports

It official: citizens of Canada will be able to identify themselves as transgender on their passports in the near future; more exactly, the new rules will come into effect by the end of August.

One person responsible for this change is Immigration Minister, Ahmed Hussen, who stated that he wants a country where everybody can feel safe to be themselves and express their genders freely. Hussen added that introducing the X gender designation in government-issued documents is an important step taken towards equality for all Canada’s people regardless of their gender identity.

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada will introduce an interim measure in order to allow people to identify themselves as having a gender that is unspecified, a measure that will take effect starting with August, 31. The Federal Government did not mention however what will the interim measure consist of, but it did confirmed that they will only be in place until the government can print documents with an X instead of F (Female) or M (Male).

The field specifying the gender is mandatory for travel documents and if a transgender person is not treated equally when traveling, it remains to up to them to review the Federal Government-issued travel advisories for that area before leaving Canada.

Jody Wilson-Raybould, Justice Minister, stated that the Federal Government is going to update the gender identify policies across federal departments. Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada already got rid of the requirement for proof of sex reassignment surgery for persons requesting to change the sex marker on documents. Some transgender Canadians praised this move and stated that is a move in the right direction.

However, some people say that IRCC does not move far enough. For example, Fran Forsberg, who is a parent of a nine-year-old transgender child, Renn, wants to have all gender-identity markers removed from identification documents in Canada. She adds that putting an X in documents highlights that some people are `different` from others and that there is no point to have gender identify on identification.

Anna Daniels

Anna is an avid blogger with an educational background in medicine and mental health. She is a generalist with many other interests including nutrition, women's health, astronomy and photography. In her free time from work and writing, Anna enjoys nature walks, reading, and listening to jazz and classical music.

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