A petition has been launched to allow non-binary people in the United Kingdom to identify outside of ‘male’ and ‘female’ on legal documentation.
Non-binary people in the UK are currently unable to identify on legal documentation that their gender is neither male or female. The petition aims to apply pressure on the UK Government to allow non-binary, gender non-conforming, gender-fluid and intersex people the right to self-identify.
Jamie Windust, a non-binary activist, model and Editor in Chief of FRUITCAKE magazine, launched the petition in February after having their own personal experience of trying to get a new passport.
“Airports and security are a major barrier for us femme identifying amab folk and the fact that I would have to conform just to travel is not okay,” Windust tweeted.
“I’d wanted to do the petition for a long time but was worried about the response and whether or not it would gain traction. I am so glad to see it has since it was shared,” they added. The petition accumulated over 8,000 signatures within three weeks.
Speaking to PinkNews, Windust said they would ideally like to see the option to self-identify on documents, but they’d also be happy to settle for a third, non-binary option.
Windust says “It’s about allyship and pushing the government to change in a simple way, by sharing or signing a petition or doing both. It’s very easy and it also has the opportunity to have a huge impact on people’s lives.”
As it stands in Ireland, people who wish to self-declare their gender on birth certs, passports and driving licences can do so under the Gender Recognition Act (GRA) by signing a statutory declaration to the Department of Social Protection.
However, the bill does not include non-binary people, intersex people, or those under the age of 18.
Under the current Irish law, 16 and 17 year-olds are required to obtain a court order and testimony from a guardian in order to have their gender recognised. If you are under 16, it is not possible to change your gender that is recognised by the State.
A review of the Gender Recognition Act took place last year and the report was released in July 2018. It was recommended that a system of gender recognition would be introduced for people who are non-binary. This has yet to be introduced, however, the Transgender Equality Network Ireland (TENI) has committed to continue to advocate for the inclusion of young, intersex and non-binary people.
If Windust’s UK petition reaches 10,000 signatures, the Government will respond and if it reaches 100,000 signatures, the petition will be considered for debate in Parliament.
© 2019 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.
For 30 years GCN has been a vital, free-of-charge information service for Ireland’s LGBT+ community. We want to go on providing this community hub in print and online, helping countless individuals across the country, but the revenue from advertising across the media is falling.
GCN needs your support. If you value having an independent LGBT+ media in Ireland, you can help from only €1.99 per month. Support Ireland’s free, independent LGBT+ media.