A campaigner has been allowed to take the issue of gender-neutral passports to the High Court.
Christie Elan-Cane is challenging the government over the UK’s passport application process, which requires people to indicate whether they are male or female.
Elan-Cane, who was born a woman but completed a physical transition in 1990, said, “It is wrong that someone who defines as neither should be forced to make that declaration.”
“Within a few months after surgery I was able to psychologically articulate how the gendered role I was assigned at birth had never applied.”
“I felt no overarching need to live in the other gendered role.”
“At that point I began looking for answers and defining as neither male nor female.”
Elan-Cane is calling for the option ‘X’, which stands for unspecified, to be added to the current UK passport application, alongside the ‘M’ and ‘F’ options
The case comes just months after Canada announced that it would be introducing gender-neutral passports.
Canada announced that a gender-neutral option will now be available on Canadian passports, in the latest move from Justin Trudeau’s government to promote LGBT rights.
Alongside passports, it was also announced that all other Canadian government-issued documents are set to become gender-neutral.
Speaking at the time, Ahmed Huseen, Canada’s immigration minister, said, “All Canadians should feel safe to be themselves, live according to their gender identity and express their gender as they choose.”
“By introducing an ‘X’ gender designation in our government-issued documents, we are taking an important step towards advancing equality for all Canadians regardless of gender identity or expression.”
Canada is not the first country to introduce gender-neutral options on government official documents. Australia, Bangladesh, Germany, India, Malta, Nepal, New Zealand and Pakistan all have options for its citizens to declare themselves gender-neutral.