Canada considering new gender options for passports

The agency in charge of issuing Canadian passports is reviewing its policies towards gender, according to a report from the Montreal daily La Presse.

A note obtained by the Quebec newspaper under access to information request confirms that Passport Canada has placed the issue under review, and a spokesperson for the agency confirmed the review on Tuesday. It is yet unknown what kind of process for transgender individuals Passport Canada take, whether passport applicants will have an additional third gender to choose from or if transgender individuals will be allowed to apply under their new gender without having undergone sex reassignment surgery.

From the National Post:

Although the details of the change are not yet known, Canada may follow the Australian example and allow Canadians to mark their sex as “X” rather than “M” or “F.” Or the agency may simply streamline the process for transgendered people to obtain a passport denoting their new sex.

Under current requirements, Canadians can change the sex on their passport only if they provide medical proof of having undergone gender-reassignment surgery. If they are still in transition they can obtain a temporary two-year passport by furnishing medical documents showing the surgery is scheduled for sometime in the next 12 months.

Critics note the policy effectively excludes a minority of transgendered people who identify with a different gender, yet are unwilling or unable to undergo genital surgery.

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