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Are gender neutral passports a step towards true equality, or a step too far?

A campaigner has been given the go-ahead to bring a High Court challenge against the Government over gender-neutral passports.

Christie Elan-Cane, who has given evidence to Parliament about transgender equality, believes the UK’s passport application process, which requires individuals to indicate whether they are male or female, is inappropriate.

Elan-Cane, who first contacted the UK passport office directly in 1995, sees the issue of “X” (for unspecified) passports as a key focal point of the non-gendered campaign.

If the new proposals are accepted, option ‘X’ – which represents ‘unspecified’ gender – would be added alongside ‘M’ and ‘F’.

At a hearing in London earlier today, Mr Justice Gilbart granted the campaigner, who was present in court, permission to bring a judicial review.

He announced: “I am satisfied this case passes the test for the grant of permission, and is arguable.”

A full hearing of the challenge will now be held on a date to be fixed.

The challenge comes after Canada became the latest country to offer citizens gender-neutral travel documents last month, following Australia, Denmark and Germany.

Malta, New Zealand, Pakistan, India and Nepal also have a third gender option on passports.

What are your views? 

Are gender neutral passports a step towards true equality, or a step too far?

553 people have already voted, what's your opinion? Yes - there should be a third option No - this is a step too far

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iestynlad
22nd Nov 2017
0
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This is crazy, supposed to be id. Make your mind up if you are male or female
alisonmay
3rd Nov 2017
0
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This is something we have to learn to live with but I am concerned how other countries will react.
alisonmay
3rd Nov 2017
0
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This is something we have to come to
Darkstar
28th Oct 2017
1
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Back with the P.C. brigade again. You are either Male or female. That's the way it is.
Costezuela
23rd Oct 2017
1
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A small minority of 'politically correct do-gooders' are making a mockery of the vast majority of sensible people - what next - a call for no passport at all because it's an invasion of 'human rights'?
Woottonm
21st Oct 2017
1
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Think we are going a step to far - that's my opinion but everyone is entitled to their own
peter14
20th Oct 2017
0
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Its quite simple. Passports are there for identity. Your gender is part of that identity. Those who make up a mixed gender are a tiny minority but are still assigned an identity. Its important .
katman76
20th Oct 2017
0
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Although I have a lot of empathy for people who do not fit into a gender tick box, can someone provide me with the numbers that are effected by this?
Valerieking
20th Oct 2017
1
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I think we should all walk a mile in someone else's shoes and feel what they feel before we make cruel comments.
Jay
15th Oct 2017
0
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There are people born with body parts of both sexes, how are they supposed to identify?
nanabee
14th Oct 2017
1
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A world gone crazy
Pam1960
13th Oct 2017
0
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I would like to add that I am not transgender but I do know someone who is. Before any operations can take place the person has to live as their new gender for 2 years. In the case of my friend who is now female it can be a very traumatic humiliating experience being targeted for abuse. I can assure you that decisions to change gender is not done lightly and I applaud everyone who has gone through or is contemplating doing so for their bravery in an intolerant society
jeanmark
14th Oct 2017
0
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I so agree with you Pam1960. In the past I nursed some people who where brave enough to have the operation and none took the decision lightly with many having suffered years of pain and humiliation. So many people are ready to judge something they don't understand.
Pam1960
13th Oct 2017
0
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I don't see any problem with it. Personally I cannot understand why it would bother anyone, it is just another option to tick. I am happy to tick the female box but if I was unfortunate enough to have to live my life as a man when I felt that I was a woman or vice versa I would hope that I could live my life without constantly facing the gender question and being judged
jeanmark
13th Oct 2017
1
Thanks for voting!
Well said Pam1960, if someone doesn't have a gender issue why worry about having a third option for those that do. Personally, I've never ticked Ms but I have never felt the need to debate the issue, what is the difference in relation to gender?
Pam1960
13th Oct 2017
0
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I do agree jeanmark. Unfortunately whilst some people continue to get upset over rights of minorities I can never see an equal and peaceful future. With the threat of wars, catastrophic devastation caused by weather why cannot people accept others for what they are and allow us all to live peaceful lives.
jeanmark
14th Oct 2017
0
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linj
12th Oct 2017
5
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Admittedly Mother Nature doesn’t always get it right and therefore gender reassignment for those people will be the best course of action. But why does the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and now gender neutral or gender fluid have to keep shouting it from the rooftops and hold marches telling the world we’re out. Haven’t seen many heterosexual marching and holding rally’s shouting about their sexuality. Listening to a documentary a few weeks ago, a mother was having a problem with her 5yr old who seemed to be confused about wether he wanted to be a boy or girl. The mother’s solution was to let the child dress as a girl one week and a boy the next week until they decided which they preferred. Maybe I’m to set in my ways but it all seems very strange to me.
jeanmark
13th Oct 2017
2
Thanks for voting!
I agree with what you say linj, but there has never been the need for heterosexual marches because for some reason it is considered the norm and thus doesn't need debating!
GlynysH
13th Oct 2017
0
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Maybe heterosexuals don’t have the problems that Gay Lesbian Transgender have being accepted.
Lionel
14th Oct 2017
3
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Jeanmark, if heterosexual relationships weren't the norm you and I might not be here to write on Silver Surfers.
jeanmark
14th Oct 2017
0
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jeanmark
14th Oct 2017
0
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I can't disagree with that Lionel but I hope you are not suggesting that procreation is the only reason for intimate relations. That excludes a large number of us who are heterosexual - and not only women over a certain age!!!!

It is also noted that a number of same sex couples can now be parents, just not biological for both partners.
SissieSis
25th Oct 2017
0
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My thoughts as well
AverelleN
12th Oct 2017
3
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You can dress up as the opposite sex but your chromosomes remain male or female and no amount of plastic surgery will change your gender.
Lionel
14th Oct 2017
-1
Thanks for voting!
Exactly! I don't won't to open up a can of worms here, but isn't some of this stuff a case of living the dream?

In practice nothing changes.
1BA
12th Oct 2017
1
Thanks for voting!
I would think in time their will be a gender netural passport as many countries are now adoting them. I am not really bothered by this , we live in a free country and if this makes people happy so be it.
Lionel
12th Oct 2017
1
Thanks for voting!
I guess this is now sliding off topic a little. Hey ho!

While we may alter the externals of gender by hacking off bits or extruding them and sticking others on our chromosomal makeup doesn't change. XX for females and XY for males. Gender reassignment therefore allows people to live as their opposite sex while still inhabiting their pre-birth gendered body. Ye gods, even Max Factor didn't come up with that one!

The early summer of '95 saw North Yorkshire in drought and it was quite bad. A timely article appeared on an inside page of the Telegraph exposing the practices of water treatment plants in and around London. It made the point that the contraceptive pill contained oestrogen and progesterone and that these are excreted from a Pill-taking woman's body into the water system and cannot be removed by normal processing. Indeed, at a time when London still used huge reservoirs fishermen were landing all manner of mutant fish, but especially gender mutations. The article wasn't followed up and the then editor, Max Hastings, didn't respond to my letter.

This dramatic upsurge in gender issues does seem to be a metropolitan issue; places where water is endlessly contaminated with sex hormones and endlessly recycled. Out here in the Styx our water comes from a deep bore, is, sadly chlorinated fluoridated, and delivered without hormone contamination. In the immediate area of several villages and hamlets, we know of no one with gender problems.

I should add this was written whilst I was wearing suspenders, fishnet tights and scarlet stilettos topped off with a leather Biker's jacket, crash hat and rose tinted goggles. Oh, I didn't mention Queen Victoria's underwear bought off eBay!
Yodama
12th Oct 2017
1
Thanks for voting!
Nothing is clear cut in gender designation. Thousands of people are born Hermaphrodite or as it is known today as Intersex.

Outwardly they may appear male or female whilst also having both male and female organs and bodies.

Very confusing for them to choose one or the other gender as they are both.

When you sign your passport declaring you have made a truthful statement, having just a male or female option could have the Intersex person to all intents and purposes perpetrating fraud.

I think passports should allow for these people to use Option X.

I don't think option X is pandering to those who adopt the persona of the opposite gender.
pat123
12th Oct 2017
0
Thanks for voting!
Yes, you are so right, what if one is Hermaphrodite! I tend to put myself in other peoples' shoes and imagine how they must feel in given situations.
Lionel
12th Oct 2017
2
Thanks for voting!
Yodama, we bred a littler of Collie pups here 12 years ago. 2 were fine but the third grew to look like an Alsatian but had both types of sex organ. As a life it was viable but the severe problems came with it's mother and father. They just didn't know how to deal with this dog and therefore its safety within the pack was permanently in jeopardy.

Hermaphrodite does occur in nature but unlike humans their birth mothers will usually overlay them in the first few minutes after birth to keep the line pure.
Yodama
13th Oct 2017
2
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Animals seem to be able to deal with things in an instinctive way Lionel. Human animals however, are a confused bunch who unfortunately need passports.

The question is always greater than the answer. We make decisions retroactively instead of proactively, so it is a case of "catch up" putting many fingers in many dykes to try to stem the ever increasing changes in modern society.

Not a good idea for humans to be entertaining "overlay" mode.
Roof Top Crow
12th Oct 2017
1
Thanks for voting!
With reaching three score and ten being just a memory, I grew up and lived most of my life in a society that assumed without question that people were either Male or Female. This was endorsed by a society that defined females as light, frothy and wearing pink clothes and males were defined as aggressive, serious and wearers of dark clothes.

But I now think it is not that simple. At its most obvious we all know female friends and associates who are characterised by their masculine attitudes and dress code and we all know male friends and associates who are characterised by female attitudes and dress code.

As I write I am starting to think I am venturing into an area in which is making me seem very sexist, I suspect it is simply a product of the values I outlined in the first paragraph.

But I will press on, and here is what I think, or should I say, probably think.

Logically sexuality cannot be as simple as people being totally female or totally male. Sexuality must be on a sliding scale running from female at one end and male at the other end. Which inevitably means that some people are in the middle and gender neutral.
Doll
12th Oct 2017
0
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Genetically the majority of people are XX or XY. There are a few unfortunate people who have an extra sex chromosome which has affects on the whole of their lives. This is crazy.
beaudefrance
12th Oct 2017
4
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Utterly ridiculous. The world has gone mad.
scandiman
12th Oct 2017
7
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Why not simply ask, ‘what was your sex at birth?’ and leave it at that? All this pandering to minorities. Friend of mine works at a sixth form college. A student announced they were transgender. The problems that caused! One question was, what toilet do they use? A lot of people got tied up in knots over it. I feel that I am living in a country that has gone raving mad, desperately trying to please every minority group with yet another ‘ishue’.
linj
12th Oct 2017
0
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I really can’t add anything to this subject Scandiman has said it all, totally agree country gone raving mad. Beginning to think being heterosexual is odd.
Lionel
12th Oct 2017
1
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Exactly! I've been banging on about this for years. Everyone is encouraged to be a special case and for every special case answered there's 1000 more waiting in the wings.

In the mid Sixties Wilson declared this nation ungovernable; perhaps we could now say it's impossible? British society is riven with factions, sub-factions and sub-sub-factions, and then there's the mavericks who will not be silenced at any price. A rabbi once described Israelis to me as all being prime ministers. Everyone knew better than someone else, had a more compulsive case and intended to be heard at the highest level. Sounds like Great Britain today.

I'm so pleased I've lived my adult life in isolated places, working on farms. None of this nonsense attaches to me.
Lionel
12th Oct 2017
1
Thanks for voting!
It may be odd to be heterosexual, linj, but I ain't gonna change. I've always liked the ladies and supremely my lovely second wife. We are opposites and yet we are so similar - lovers. I just am not going to jeopardise that.
Lionel
14th Oct 2017
0
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Yes, linj, when we go to a nearby town and walk the street (there's only one street) and see what is happening before our eyes we too think the world is going mad. Or is that gone mad?
jeanmark
14th Oct 2017
1
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Problem is linj, homosexuals etc. do think we are odd!!

Why can't we all just live our lives and accept we are different, and that applies to all, I would hate to exclude anyone.
NoreenS
12th Oct 2017
3
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I am a woman, mother, grandmother and great grandmother and can do everything that I want to do that is normal for any woman. Frankly, there are only two genders, male or female and you can only stick with the one you were born with to be fulfilled and happy.
jeanmark
14th Oct 2017
1
Thanks for voting!
Sorry Noreen, if you were born in the 'wrong' body it doesn't matter if you have XX or XY you will suffer and never be fulfilled or happy until you are accepted for who you feel you are.

As the various quotes say "If you have not walked in my shoes, don't judge me".
PatN
12th Oct 2017
5
Thanks for voting!
What achievement is being aimed at here? Makes no sense to me.
MoragL
12th Oct 2017
9
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What a load of rubbish, we are either male or female, we can't be sexless and all this malarkey is senseless.
JuneB42
12th Oct 2017
8
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You are what you are born as male or female, I see no reason to make up a name and waste the tax payers money, the present passport is as it should be, needs no changes whatsoever, the world is going crazy it should not have been considered its that ridiculous.
DerekA
12th Oct 2017
5
Thanks for voting!
Male, Female,...that's it, unless mother nature has another option that only a divine few LBGT or whatever lexicon they choose to use this week know about! The judge is quite right, it is arguable, and the longer the better for the salary's of lawyers and politicians!!!
Wilf
12th Oct 2017
4
Thanks for voting!
I am not really bothered to be honest. If a small minority need this on their passport and other countries are doing it as well what do I care. The UK has always been a caring and free and open society and long may it continue. If it helps some then good.
Lionel
12th Oct 2017
2
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Wilf, I've got to disagree with you here.

UK has not always been a caring and free and open society. Indeed, one of my horrors when forced to live in London as an 8 year old was the way the Blacks and Irish were treated. I too was treated badly because I spoke only a West Norfolk patois of Dutch, Flemish and Saxon mixed with a few English words. I could go on.

Historically the English have been just that, very English, exclusive. One may be British by birth but not necessarily English. In the rural areas I've spent my life this pertains to this day. Please understand I don't necessarily put myself in that place but it has been my life experience.

May I reflect a moment here. This summer my wife and I visited a minor stately home a dozen miles from our house. We went to see the garden and greenhouses. Whilst there in the green houses I met a chap in clean but rather work-a-day clothes, pruning espaliered apple trees. Knowing something about pruning fruit trees we got chatting about gardening. Nice chap, but his accent gave him away. Eton.

At home I went on the estate website. That chap is the president of the RHS, a long time personal friend of organic gardener Prince Charles and I was telling him how to prune fruit trees! But he was so gracious about it all.

That's English. Long may it remain.
Wilf
12th Oct 2017
1
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I suppose I mean the Brits have always been open and caring compared to many if not most other nations. This country is aggressive no doubt about it there are 220 nations in the world and Uk has fought 200 of them according to a BBC survey some years ago. We have though welcomed many peoples to these shores and stood up to the most terrible tyrants and given them a good thrashing in the meantime. we are an old nation now and have a lot of “teeth” missing like a navy with more admirals than ships (Nelson would turn in his grave)….but we are still a friendly society compared to most others. The rule of law still rules. We still debate openly (on here for one) and hate fanatics. If people want to be gender neutral what do I care? Live and let live is my motto
KevinP
12th Oct 2017
7
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What the he'll is the world coming too. We are born male or female end of.
DianneB9
12th Oct 2017
3
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DerekA
12th Oct 2017
5
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It does seem the lunatics are running the asylum!!
Wilf
12th Oct 2017
2
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They always have done back to the Roman times!
Lionel
12th Oct 2017
1
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The trouble is it's now the whole country which is an asylum and anyone who disagrees with them is banged up.
Wilf
12th Oct 2017
0
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I would disagree there Lionel Its only in Westminster...well and a few other places..I can think of a few nutters in both parties
Kes
12th Oct 2017
9
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People here are saying “call me old fashioned, but” etc etc. It’s not necessary for anyone to excuse their opinion in this way. Be it human or animal, there is only female and male. There is no such thing as gender neutral. People can call or refer to themselves how ever they like, and many do, but this notion of actually creating a legal neutral gender is just another fashion trend, and not one the UK should follow. There is enough waste of tax payers money in this country as it is.
Lizzy36
12th Oct 2017
8
Thanks for voting!
Passports these days in a large part ensure our safety..that’s hard enough without putting another obstacle in the way...
judyap
12th Oct 2017
7
Thanks for voting!
Has the world gone mad?
DawnD14
12th Oct 2017
5
Thanks for voting!
I was born female and I am proud for the world to know,
jeanmark
14th Oct 2017
1
Thanks for voting!
I have met many females who were biologically female but never felt that way, so lucky you Dawn. At least you are accepted and not rejected because you feel you are different.
KrisS2
12th Oct 2017
9
Thanks for voting!
I'm sorry, I may be viewed as 'old fashioned', but I think this is a ridiculous notion. What you are born is either male or female.....a mental condition where you 'decide' on a given day to be either one......can not be the basis for a passport or any other form of ID. That means someone would have to be issued with two ID's.....1 male and 1 female to use on any given day!! Again, its the smallest minority with the loudest voices that the whole of society has to give way for......again...a ridiculous notion.......just saying
jeanmark
15th Oct 2017
1
Thanks for voting!
I don't think it is about people changing their minds on a given day and from a 'mental' viewpoint many will suffer true clinical depression for most of their lives. Mainly because people do not accept their suffering, implying it is a 'passing phase'.

I'm not clear where gender neutral comes from. Most of the people I have met, who have either undergone gender reassignment or are preparing for it, just want to be recognised for the gender they feel they are. Is it too much to ask to be recognised and acknowledge as a human being who, because of a 'freak' of nature, have been born in the wrong body.
CaroleAH
12th Oct 2017
8
Thanks for voting!
I don't understand this at all. The majority of people are born either male or female - I know that a minority of people are born with an indeterminate sex but I am sure that this third option has not been created for them. Then there are transgender people who are born male or female and change sex because they identify more strongly with the gender in which they were not born so surely they would choose to tick either the male or female box according to their choice of sexual identity. So who and what are the people who would choose the third option? How can you be Neither? Asexual people are still either male or female even if they have no sexual desires. Taking this idea to the extreme - what if someone is arrested and has to be strip-searched e.g for drugs but says that they are Gender X - do they have to be searched by a man and a woman to get the balance right and then where would they be imprisoned and what about hospital wards, changing rooms etc etc. It's mind boggling and, to my mind, rather silly. If there are any Gender X Silversurfers, please will you enlighten the community?
jeanmark
14th Oct 2017
1
Thanks for voting!
CaroleAH, I think one of the problems is that even when you have gender reassignment, your passport states the gender that is on your birth certificate. That can cause confusion and embarrassment for all concerned.

I'm not sure where the gender neutral bit comes in!
CaroleAH
14th Oct 2017
1
Thanks for voting!
Thank-you, Jeanmark. That explains a lot - now I can see why people want the third box and it's actually a reasonable request. I've just Googled this subject and on the Gov.UK website there is reference to Gender Recognition Certificates - once you have got one, a copy is sent to the registrar where your birth was registered and a new short certificate is issued in your reassigned gender.
jeanmark
15th Oct 2017
0
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Thanks CaroleAH, that's good to know. I don't know what happens if someone is still going through their transition.
CaroleAH
15th Oct 2017
1
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I believe they have to live in their chosen gender for two years and have supporting medical evidence from their GP and a psychiatrist before their application (costs £140) goes before an "expert panel" who then decide whether a Gender Recognition Certificate can be issued.
jeanmark
15th Oct 2017
0
Thanks for voting!
Oh dear, one more hoop they have to jump through!
Marley444
12th Oct 2017
8
Thanks for voting!
Since the beginning of time there has been male and female. In the animal kingdom there is male and female. How can someone decide to be neither? Call me old fashioned but I really find this all very confusing!
MrsPat
12th Oct 2017
6
Thanks for voting!
Its all a bit strange but I am very surprised that countries like Pakistan and Malta have this. What are people supposed to put on their passports then if they are not male or female...and how many people are like this. maybe I am getting too old and don't understand this modern world where anything goes.

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