The very first Mexican non-binary passport was issued in Naucalpan, a municipality just north of Mexico City, yesterday, May 17, to commemorate International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia.
Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrary confirmed the momentous occasion on Twitter, calling it “a great leap for the freedom and dignity of people”.
The recipient of the passport, Ociel Baena, was joined by representatives from the Foreign Ministry, as well as other officials for the ceremony, including Salma Luévano Luna, one of the first federal-level trans legislators in Mexico.
Primer pasaporte no-binario de México entregado hoy en Naucalpan, un gran salto por la libertad y dignidad de las personas pic.twitter.com/NCZAPS7nt4
— Marcelo Ebrard C. (@m_ebrard) May 17, 2023
“Within the framework of #DiaContraLaLGTBIfobia, we endorse our support for sexual diversity. All rights must be guaranteed for all identities. No more hate speech; diversity enriches and flourishes,” said the Mexican Foreign Ministry on Twitter in celebration of the International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, and Transphobia.
Members of Mexico’s Foreign Ministry commemorated the day in more than 40 countries and US states, flying Pride flags and holding up signs in solidarity with the LGBTQ+ community, according to a video published on the Ministry’s TikTok page.
@sre_mx Hoy conmemoramos el Día Nacional contra la Homofobia, Lesbofobia, Transfobia y Bifobia en todas nuestras representaciones al rededor del mundo. #ZonaSegura #IDAHOT #LGBTQ #diplomacy #diversity #humanrights ♬ sonido original – Relaciones Exteriores
As of May 17, Mexico has joined more than a dozen countries in allowing non-binary individuals to declare their gender at the national level, including the United States, which offered an ‘X’ (or unspecified) gender option on identification documents as early as April 2022.
Under Mexico’s new passport policy, non-binary individuals can similarly respond with an ‘X’ if they do not identify as either a man or a woman.
“People applying will be able to choose the marker ‘X’ for the box designating sex on their passport, and in that way they omit the need to specify gender,” explained the foreign ministry in a statement regarding the new policy.
Prior to the new policy, Mexican passport-holders were not asked to designate their gender on their identification documents, only their sex.
While the new policy seems like a step towards inclusivity, not all Mexican individuals feel the same. Non-binary Mexican activist and Deputy Director of Global Programming for It Gets Better, an LGBTQ+ rights non-profit, Alex Orue, spoke out against the policy change, arguing that it muddies the difference between gender and sex
“It’s counterproductive because it confuses the concepts and reinforces a stigma against our community,” said Orue.
Orue questioned whether non-binary people were given a seat at the table regarding the policy change, as well as suggesting that it would be more inclusive to allow non-binary individuals to select an ‘NB’ option on official identification documents when specifying the applicant’s gender.
“It could seem like a minor detail, but it’s stigmatizing for non-binary people and it becomes a matter of inspection of genitalia,” they added.
Despite not having unanimous support from the non-binary community, Mexico has announced that they will start issuing non-binary passports at consulates worldwide as early as July, according to the Foreign Ministry.
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