Genderless activist in push for 'X' passports

Christie Elan-Cane wants to put the UK on equal footing with Australia, Denmark, Germany, Malta, and Ireland by having an 'X' option in British passports to represent those who identify as gender-neutral.

Lydia Morrish
Lydia Morrish NewsMavens, United Kingdom
Genderless activist in push for 'X' passports - NewsMavens
British passport on world map. Richard Gardner/REX/Shutterstock

Why this story matters:

Male and female are the only gender options for UK passports but a third category may be introduced if Elan-Cane wins her case against the government. The decision will be announced in the next few weeks.

Campaigners supporting 'X' passports say the Home Office is breaching human rights and not allowing genderless passports is unlawful.

Bringing in 'X' passports could help the 600,000 people that do not identify as male or female, according to a survey by the Equality and Human Rights Commission from 2012.

Genderless passports are “a crucial step” in protecting the rights of genderless people, said Narind Singh, a partner at Clifford Chance, the law firm representing Elan-Cane.

As the continent shifts towards a climate more respecting of a gender 'spectrum', in which some identify as stridently male or female and others -- as no gender at all, it would make sense if Britain introduced the change.

Details from the story:

  • Activist Christie Elan-Cane, who was born female but identifies as gender-neutral (neither male nor female), has been campaigning for 25 years to have “genderless” people recognized in British passports.
  • She filed a legal challenge against the UK government to pressure them into allowing an 'X' option on passports.
  • Elan-Cane said on Twitter on April 19 that a decision will be made by the court in a “few weeks.”
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