Gender neutral passports?

Leonne Zeegers from Breda has become the first person in the Netherlands to receive a gender-neutral passport.

Following a Dutch court ruling earlier this year, which declared that a third gender category should be created for government and official documentation and identification, the 57-year-old is the first to receive a passport with an X as their gender specification.

Zeegers was born with the male classification in their birth certificate, but didn’t identify as a man, and so had surgery in 2001 to become female. The former athlete and nurse identifies as intersex, and is now the proud owner of a passport that more accurately reflects how they identify.

While Zeegers is the first Dutch person to receive an intersex passport, in 2003 Australian Alex MacFarlane was the first person in the world to receive a passport with an X marking their gender.

In Australia, the Government issues passports to sex and gender diverse applicants, identifying them as M (male), F (female) or X (indeterminate/intersex/unspecified).

Chile, the United States (only in Washington DC, California, New York City, Ohio, Oregon and Washington State), Uruguay, Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Austria, Germany, Malta, Australia and New Zealand all offer a third gender option on their passports, but not the UK.

Which letter is on your passport? Do you like the idea that Australia has the option of choosing non-male and female categories on passports? 

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Written by Leon Della Bosca

Publisher of YourLifeChoices – Australia's most-trusted and longest-running retirement website. A trusted voice on Australia's retirement landscape, including retirement income and planning, government entitlements, lifestyle and news and information relevant to Australians over 50. Leon has worked in publishing for more than 25 years and is also a travel writer and editor, graphic designer and photographer.

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