Aug 25, 2017
By Michael Kramer
Canadian activists lobbying for gender-neutral options on government documents are feeling upbeat.
They say Ottawa has sent an important message of support – with the announcement that passports will allow people to opt out of declaring themselves as either male or female.
The federal government delivered the news on Thursday.
Citizens who do not want to specify as male or female will now have the option to indicate their preference on passport application forms – starting on August 31st.
They’ll have to note on their form that they want their gender identified as “x” before new forms can be printed – offering the neutral option alongside “m” and “f.”
Activists say Ottawa’s move sends a clear message that the provinces need to be more proactive in recognizing “non-binary residents” – which is a term used to define someone who doesn’t identify as male or female.
And supporters say the process of applying for gender-neutral passports will be complicated by the fact that many provinces still don’t offer gender-neutral forms of identification.