To: Home Secretary Amber Rudd
X My Passport
Add the X gender marker to British passports
Why is this important?
At the moment, British passports only provide two gender options; M and F. This is a problem as there are people who identify as neither of these genders. In 2014, a study (Titman, 2014) identified that 1 in 250 people choose another option when given the opportunity. YouGov studies have shown figures as high as 20% of people placing themselves between the poles of 100% male or 100% female. A simple solution is to add an X option on passports for those who want it. This is approved by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and is already in use in countries such as Germany, New Zealand, and Nepal.
A survey of 79 non-binary people (people who do not identify as men or women) in the UK through the Beyond the Binary online magazine found that the vast majority reported feeling uncomfortable (100%) and unsafe (94%) being non-binary in the UK. The addition of the X marker on official documentation, such as passports, will validate the existence of non-binary identities, providing greater social and legal protection; making Britain a safer, more comfortable place for non-binary and genderqueer people.
Lee-Anne is a non-binary person who says “I am misgendered in every shop I go into. It would be amazing if I could at least have the correct gender recorded on my official ID.”
For non-binary people, there is an inability to have gender recorded correctly on medical, legal, educational, and other records. This leads to misgendering, dysphoria, as well as physical and mental health issues. It also validates harassment, discrimination and hate crime against non-binary people. It is imperative that this changes and an X marker is added to British passports.