The new Australian passport regulations

So, in exciting news, the Passport Office has issued new regulations for trans and intersex people. Trans men and women will be able to change the sex marker on their Aussie passports to the correct sex without needing surgery, and intersex people will be able to change to a X marker (for indeterminate/unspecified/intersex). Both will require a letter from a medical practitioner to certify either “appropriate medical treatment” for trans people or that they are intersex and do not identify with the sex assigned to them at birth.

This is definitely progress, and very good news for trans men and women and intersex people indeed. Obviously it’s left out non-binary people, which is less good. And the general medicalisation of sex and gender diversity is kind of an issue – it definitely seems to be framed with trans men and women on hormones in mind (though there is some wiggle room over what “appropriate” might mean I suppose). So there are distinct exclusions.

Still, this is a huge step forward in shifting the definitions of legal sex and gender away from genitals into something more holistically lived for transsexual, transgender and intersex people in Australia.

Categories: ethics & philosophy, gender & feminism, law & order, social justice

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6 replies

  1. Yay for the huge step forward – fingers crossed that the progress continues!

  2. How is it obvious it’s left out non-binary peeps? Isn’t an x for not specified kind of covering that?

  3. Well it specifically links “x” to intersex people, and requires doctor’s note on that. I’m not sure of the likelihood for getting an x otherwise – in previous cases I’ve heard of people needing a court order, but not sure how prevalent that is.

  4. That is an improvement. Will this have flow-on effects also – improving the chances of formal recognition by universities and so on?

  5. I think it will have flow-on effects, because passports obviously can be used for ID in Australia, but I’m not sure if other institutions will take similar steps with recognition.
    I mean, never underestimate the jerkfacery of a bureaucrat, basically.

  6. Apologies, I misunderstood – I figured “not specified” would be broader.

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