BY NATASHA BARSOTTI – Transgender citizens of New Zealand can now change the gender on their passports through a statutory declaration and without having to change their birth certificates or citizenship documents, The New Zealand Herald reports.
According to the report, the change, which came into effect Nov 30, permits people to state their gender as male, female or X, for indeterminate or unspecified. While the passport application form still asks people to check male or female and does not provide any other choice, a passport office spokesperson told The Herald that the transgender community is aware of the X option.
A 2008 Human Rights Commission report recommended that people ought to have the right to amend the gender marker in their passports and other documentation. “A Family Court declaration is still required for a male/female gender change on citizenship documents, but this policy is under review,” The Herald notes.
About 400 people have already recorded their gender as X, the commission report says.
Although some in the transgender community say gender shouldn’t appear on passports, the passport office was not looking into completely removing it, according to a July report in stuff.co.nz.
In May, Argentina’s senate voted 55–0 in favour of legislation that allows people to change their names and gender on official documents without first having to undergo sex reassignment surgery or get prior approval from the courts. Several transgender people received new government IDs at a July 2 ceremony officiated by Argentina’s president, Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, to mark the passage of the groundbreaking law.
Landing image: worldtravels.com