ARE YOU IN THE UK AND THINKING OF APPLYING FOR OR RENEWING A PASSPORT?
Her Majesty’s Passport Office (HMPO) have said that they’re unwilling to add X as a sex marker to passports at least in part because there is no demand.
At one point during the meeting, it was suggested by HM Passport Office that this was not really a significant issue because there were no known cases where an applicant had refused to indicate a gendered role on the passport application form at the point of application.
So, if you’re applying for a new passport or renewing or replacing an old one:
- get a paper form from the post office.
- If you’re nonbinary, include a note or postcard that says “I’m nonbinary; I want to put X as my sex marker” or something.
- If you’re an ally, include something that says “I support adding X as a sex marker on passports” or similar.
- Consider writing a gender-inclusive title such as Mx on the form; they do accept such titles, and use them to post your passport to you. They don’t put titles on your passport, but if they ever use application statistics to get an idea of potential X-supporters it’ll help. (Be true to yourself first!)
- Post it.
Then, if you’re feeling enthused, write to your MP (it’s free, it’s easy) asking them to support Simon Hughes’ Early Day Motion to include X on passports. I wrote to my MP about it before I moved house (Geraint Davies, Labour) and he’s agreed to support it.
Then, if you’re really on a roll, write to HM Passport Office through Christie Elan-Cane, saying that you think there’s a need for X on passports and why:
Write to me at [click here to see email address in original post]. I will forward to one of their policy chiefs, and keep a record for my own reference that I might (with your permission) use as future evidence.
Remember: ACTIVISM WORKS!
A reminder that this PDF exists: Mx is an accepted and used gender-inclusive title in the UK
This document is really useful to email to any company or organisation that refuses to update your records with a gender-inclusive title due to an out-of-date and inflexible computer system, or just because they’ve never heard of it.
- High res direct download: http://www.polyinpictures.com/wp-content/uploads/mxevidence.pdf (18.5 MB)
- Low res direct download: http://www.polyinpictures.com/wp-content/uploads/mxevidencelowres.pdf (1.5 MB)
- Scribd page: http://scribd.com/doc/137340953
It has a description of Mx with an example usage and pronunciation notes. It also has photographic, scanned and screencapped evidence of various local and national government, banks, companies and organisations using Mx, including:
- Department for Work and Pensions (DWP)
- Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA)
- Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC)
- National Health Service (NHS)
- Dwr Cymru/Welsh Water
- Swansea and Brighton Councils
- UK Deed Poll Service
- Legal Deed Poll Service
- Portsmouth University
- Royal Mail Group (Post Office Ltd.)
- Barclays (bank)
- HSBC (bank)
- Royal Bank of Scotland, aka RBS
- Halifax (bank)
- The Co-operative (bank and supermarket)
- Santander (bank)
Observations and enjoyment re: Andrej Pejić
First of all, in this here interview with La Monda she says she prefers “she”:
A lot of my close friends say ‘she’. But a lot of people say ‘he’ too and I am not offended by that; when you are in this position, living this life inbetween genders, you can’t be too offended by anything. Either way is fine, but I prefer “she”.
But on her wikipedia page, there’s obviously been different edits at different times by people who’ve used different pronoun sets according to what they’ve read about Pejić, and no one has gone and corrected them. Either because no one is sure of her preference, or because she’s said that she doesn’t actually mind.
That means we get a fantastically gender-inclusive wikipedia article where (at the time of writing this post) we’ve got snippets such as:
It has been reported that Pejić was scouted as a model just before turning 17 while working at McDonald’s, but she has also referenced being scouted at a swimming pool whilst still in high school in Melbourne.
I just find that really pleasing. I think a world in which it doesn’t actually matter which pronouns are used, and a piece of writing makes sense even when the pronouns are inconsistent, is a world in which I’d like to live.
If you’re a nonbinary activist and you’re feeling a bit down, click on over to this page and take a look at what we’ve managed to do by writing letters and informing people. This tag is basically a log of every company we’ve contacted that’s added Mx or an “other” gender option, or removed the title or gender field altogether, in response to our messages. Know that you’re not the only one working on this, and that every little thing you do has contributed to these achievements.
Thank you. :)
Third gender recognition
Excellent and highly recommended response to the flawed NY Mag Agender article from The Frisky:
It’s a common assumption that non-binary people were all assumed female at birth, i.e. born with the body parts we typically associate with girls. With the exception of Pejic, who doesn’t have a pronoun preference and has de-emphasized the importance of gender in interviews, there are few visible examples of assumed-male-at-birth non-binary people. Kopas explained how this narrow POV can harm assumed-male-at-birth people and others who fall outside the typical presentation:
It seems that we’ve started treating the most visible examples of non-binary people as if they represented the full range of ways of being. […] Who does this leave out? People of color, fat people, male-assigned people… As a male-assigned non-binary person, it’s sometimes felt like a struggle for me to have that part of my identity recognized even by other gender-variant folks. People want to place me as either as a man because of my physical features, or a woman because of how I dress or because I’m on [hormone replacement therapy]. But there’s no non-binary uniform or medical regimen — nothing says that someone can’t dress femme and still identify outside of a gender binary. So if non-binary is to mean more than a particular kind of androgynous expression, then we need to talk about the range of ways that it can look and feel.
In short? “Agender” may sound like a tidy little label — but that would be an underestimation of every agender person that you meet.
The feature article in today’s New York Magazine is on agender, nonbinary and neutrois experience. The article is generally positive, presenting three different people’s experience in their own words.
Debate has ensued on Twitter about the journalist (or editor)’s choice to focus more on bodies than lives and to only feature people coercively assigned female at birth and not comment on the disparity.
Is there are barrier on CAMAB agender or nonbinary identity (or disclosure) that this article’s editorial decisions perpetuate or is it simply voyeuristic and intrusive to focus on the narrative of transition, birth assignment, surgeries and bodies?
A new article about agender / neutrois people came out. I’m featured in the article as Micah. All I’ll say is, it’s tougher than I expected to put yourself out there. Thoughts?
"I didn’t really want nipples," Cory said, running a hand through a mop of bleached blond hair. Born female, 23-year-old Cory uses the pronoun co—and asked that we refer to co that way, too—and got elective surgery to remove co’s breasts last year. But co is not transgender in the traditional sense, transitioning between female and male. Co wants neither gender. So co joined the ranks of the agender—or, in a more florid recent coinage, the gender neutrois.
"You read stuff on Tumblr about how us nonbinary people just want to be special snowflakes," explained Cory, who is special but made of sturdier stuff than a snowflake. Was Cory’s desire to remove co’s secondary sexual traits a ploy for attention? A reaction to internalized sexism? The result of sexual repression? "I tackled all that stuff with my therapist. We came to the conclusion that I was not okay with this part of my body. Regardless of where that came from, it was there." Co has neither breasts nor nipples now.
"It is so perfect," Cory said. “For me this is what neutral looks like and feels like.”
I found Cory through the #nonbinary #agender #neutrois tags on Tumblr. The social network has become an unofficial home for the gender neutral. Though most group themselves with the transgender community, they reject the narrative of a person born into the wrong, oppositely-gendered body. All five neutrois individuals I spoke to have no need for masculinity or femininity at all.
Full article: NY Mag: Neither Man Nor Woman: Meet the Agender
Excellent trans* and genderqueer-friendly article on gynecomastia in The Guardian, exploring what cultural attitudes to ‘moobs’ say about society’s binary view of gender:
Matt Cornell grew up with gynecomastia, a harmless condition that made his school days a misery. From the bullying to the surgery that followed, he looks back on what ‘moobs’ meant to him
This article was very interesting due to Matt’s analysis:
This fixation on “man boobs” reveals our culture’s obsession with binary gender, but we have all the evidence we need that biological sex and gender are not as rigid or fixed as we imagine. There are intersexed people. There are transgender people and genderqueer people. There are millions of men and boys like me with gynecomastia, a medically harmless (though socially lethal) condition. The prevalence of gynecomastia in adolescent boys is estimated to be as low as 4% and as high as 69%. As one article notes, “These differences probably result from variations in what is perceived to be normal.” You think?
The Nonbinary.org wiki is now upgraded, improved, completely cleared of spam users and pages, and set up to prevent future spam registrations!
If your account had never been used to edit or create pages linked from another page, I’m afraid you’ll have to create it again as it’s been deleted along with eight thousand spammers and 2.1GB of spam.
I’ve installed Wikipedia-style message boxes and citations on the request of editors. Please let me know if there are any other extensions that would make your life easier.
Enjoy clicking 'Random Page'! :)