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Transgendered Canadians May Be Offered At Sex-Less Passport: Reports


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Transgendered Canadians may be offered at sex-less passport: reports

Government may move to gender-free passport option -- for some

Postmedia News May 9, 2012

A Passport Canada official confirmed "the policy regarding transgender people is still under review," the National Post newspaper reported Wednesday. The transgender debate was thrust into the public conscious when Canadian model Jenna Talackova was dropped from the Miss Universe Canada competition by pageant representatives because of reported competition rules, which sparked outrage.

Photograph by: Mario Anzuoni , REUTERS

The federal government may start offering public passports that don't list the sex of the applicant, media outlets are reporting.

A Passport Canada official confirmed "the policy regarding transgender people is still under review," the National Post newspaper reported Wednesday.

The changes are expected to remove the sex from a passport for someone who wishes to omit it, or simply make it easier for someone to apply to change their sex on their travel documents.

Currently, medical proof of sex-reassignment surgery is necessary to have the sex listed on a passport changed.

Those who are in transition can acquire a passport that expires after two years, if they have documentation showing they have surgery scheduled within the next year.

According to briefing notes acquired by Montreal newspaper La Presse through access-to-information laws "Passport Canada policy in relation to the gender indicated on passports is the subject of a review."

Read more:http://www.canada.co...l#ixzz1uRT9t4jA

I like this move. Identification by gender is laughable when you're looking at a picture of the person. There's no need to look for an F when processing a woman's passport, so why have it at all? Makes things harder for the transgender folks who haven't updated a passport is all. Good move to eliminate an unnecessary requirement.

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In similar topic, Australia already rolled this out in September. I recall one concern was how these passports would be accepted in more conservative nation-states (ie. Iran). Would (let's say) Iranian officials permit a holder of this particular passport into their borders?

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A passport is there to identify the person. The sex is listed because it is one of the numerous things used to help customs and security etc validate that the person carrying the passport is that real person. Its Not there to hold your hand on your journey through self exploration or to validate your lifestyle choices in any way. If you look like a woman put down female, if you look like a man put down male and if you look like Pat flip a coin and move on.

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Well, that's what I was asking you. I can't really think of anything significant off the bat.

Having said that, the "it's always been there" is usually a strong enough argument to NOT change something. For the record, I'm not giving an opinion on whether I'm for this or not.

What I mean from my first post is that.... when I look at my driver's licence, I see that I'm male, I have brown eyes and black hair, along with my height and weight. I don't know if those attributes serve any importance here, but I'm not sure that's reason to get rid of them. I don't think that was the rationale for why the Canadians are doing this, either.

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Sorry, your post was a little hard to understand. Like I said, I don't see a purpose to include sex because it's redundant to look at a female, and verify she is indeed a female by the passport. Is picture not enough to inform customs that they're dealing with a woman? I think one of the implications of progress is to remove things that have always been there, but served little purpose.

I agree with CS above that conservative countries would pose a potential problem, but is there anything beyond backward convictions of certain nations? I still don't see a negative to this.

Of course you're right as to what purpose the passport serves, but does the gender identification actually help that purpose along? Or is it redundant?

I'm certain that if it was as simple as putting down what one looks like, they wouldn't be considering changes to the system. This is why an alternative is to speed up the process to change sex in the passport and provide temp, 2-year passports to "current-op" (to fit with "post-op" and "pre-op" I wasn't sure what word to use).

This isn't about a journey of self discovery, this is about people having a passport that reflects who they actually are, and not what the state deemed them to be at birth.

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I think when it comes to identification, the more info the better. So I would say go with the option that provides the most information. For example, given someone born a male who has changed themselves to look (and be, if you think that way) female, if they have an option of 'looks female', that might provide better information than saying male on the ID. However, if the passport would just say 'genderless' then that would provide less information.

If its a matter of identifying (lets face it these people must get flagged all the time for not looking like the gender on their ID), I'd say using the word 'looks' could improve things, if its a matter of them wanting to feel included, I would agree with the above poster who said the passport is not meant as a advertisement of your personal exploration through life.

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Are there not a host of other protections in place beyond identifying the gender of a passport holder? When they scan the passport, is there no photo on file? A customs agent can already look at age, hair color, height, weight, eye color, ethnicity (in relation to name, anyway), passport build, picture quality. Like I said, this seems like a redundant quality to state, and it poses problems for people who don't always fall on either side of the genders.

It's like listing shoe size, ultimately it serves as an added barrier to forgeries, but practically it's useless.

So give your DNA to the government and be done with it. Won't need a passport if they can just check your iris while you're entering the airport (by the way, this is already being done to an extent if I'm not mistaken). I don't think people sneaking around is that important of a problem that removing gender would cause a camel's back to snap.

I wonder how this conversation would've gone without 9/11 and the following decade of increasing barriers to travel. I think this is a tiny shift away from policies of the last 11 years, and it is welcome. I'm glad CPC is being progressive in this case, not that I'm that surprised (abortion debate that they're trying to reopen is a non-issue to me, Harper won't support).

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In similar topic, Australia already rolled this out in September. I recall one concern was how these passports would be accepted in more conservative nation-states (ie. Iran). Would (let's say) Iranian officials permit a holder of this particular passport into their borders?

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If someone has a drivers licence - it's redundant to include their name, DOB, picture, age, gender, on a passport then as well - no?

The reason why it is required is because "under the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) standards, sex is one of four mandatory personal identifiers contained in a passport. A passport must include either the letter M (male), F (female) or X (unspecified). "

Is it really necessary? I don't know.

Does it really matter? Not really - doesn't bother me at all.

Remember, a passport is for international travel.

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That says everything right there.

It's not redundant to include same info on passport and driver's license because they serve different purposes, are not required for same purposes, and are not required to be carried together.

Is it a better identifier than hair color? Shoe size? Biometrical data?

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First the miss universe contest, next up the passport office!

If your that confident your really a women what difference does it make? If you don't believe in being judged by your gender use unspecified.

Of course, the problem isn't that people don't want to be judged by their perceived gender......

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