Third Gender Option for Australian Passport Applications

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Uploaded on September 17, 2011 by newsydotcom

BY SHELLY YANG

ANCHOR CHRISTINA HARTMAN


You're watching multisource world video news analysis from Newsy.

Australians applying for a passport no longer have to choose between Male and Female in the gender category. Fox Business explains the change.

“Intersex people only need a doctor's letter to get a passport and what they consider to be their true gender. The government says this will help more people to travel freely and without fear of discrimination.”

Those not wanting to select Male or Female -- can now choose “Indeterminate.” TIME magazine points out the significance of this move.

“While it's true that the change will only affect a small number of Aussies … the newest option is expected to make a big difference in the traveling lives of those who will mark X. Especially those whose old passports indicated a gender that didn't match their appearances, which would inevitably lead to questioning and even, sometimes, detainment.”

But the popular LGBT online magazine Queerty does not appreciate the offer. Not entirely, anyway.

“While the change was instituted to prevent discrimination against transgender and intersex passport holders, being called ‘indeterminate’ sounds pretty patronizing, to say the least. Baby steps, we guess.”

Previously - Australians were not able to make changes to their gender on the document unless they had sex reassignment surgery. According to the AP - the landmark decision is about to affect 4 percent of Australians.

An anchor on KDVR says -- this is great for Australia -- but what about the U.S.?

MAN: “We’re all on our own journey and it’s a hard struggle for transgendered Americans. So why not be able to have their own box. What do you think?”
WOMAN: “What would they check? Really. What do you check?”
MAN: “You check the third box and away you go.”
WOMAN: “I know, but if you’re here in America or somewhere else you have to choose.”
Man: "That's a tough issue."

But The Wall Street Journal points out Australia still faces a complicated sex issue.

“The measure is a symbolic victory for equality campaigners in Australia, a nation with something of a mixed record. Sydney and other big cities have vibrant gay cultures, and a number of prominent politicians, including Finance Minister Penny Wong and Greens party leader Bob Brown, are openly gay, but same-sex marriage remains a vexing political issue.”

Equality activists are now asking the government to consider allowing people to change their birth certificates as well.


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Transcript by Newsy.

Tags:
Australian Passports, Gender X Option, Australian Passport Gender Options, Indeterminate Option, LGBT, World News, News & Events
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