Canada: Neutral Gender is Now Official

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Canada: Neutral Gender is Now Official

(Blogmensgo, gay blog of August 28, 2017) Beginning on August 31, 2017, people who feel neither female (F) nor male (M) may choose Neutral (X) as a third gender option in all ID documents and related official papers.

Ottawa Pride (CSD)

Gender X at Ottawa Pride? ©Mike Gifford (CC BY-NC 2.0)

Of course, this third option for a “non-defined gender” will only be fully available once all government-issued documents such as passports, immigration forms etc. will offer X beside M and F. The precise timing for this implementation is not currently known.

In our opinion, introducing the gender option “X” in government-issued documents and forms is an important measure to grant the same rights to all Canadians, independently of their sexual identity or expression.
(Ahmed Hussen, Canadian Minister for Immigration Refugees and Citizenship)

Since fall of 2016, aliens in Canada have been allowed to choose a third gender option (Other) on the official electronic immigration form.

Canadian law prohibits any discrimination based on age, gender, race, religion or sexual orientation. A bill from June 2017 adds “gender identity and expression” to this list.

As of today, seven countries offer their citizens passports with “neutral” as an option (Australia, Bangladesh, Germany, India, Nepal, New Zealand, Pakistan). Canada is now to become the eighth.

Trudeau und Varadkar

Justin Trudeau: The Canadian Prime Minister together with his Irish counterpart Leo Varadkar during Fierté Montréal (or Montreal Pride). ©pm.gc.ca

It was quite interesting to see a number of people marching in the parade on August 27, 2017 that are not commonly seen in Pride parades: Jonathan Vance, the Chief of Staff of the Canadian Military, together with a number of other high-ranking members of the military.

This appearance came shortly after the American president Donald Trump had asked the Pentagon to stop recruiting transgender persons for the US military service. In Ottawa, these high-ranking soldiers expressed the complete opposite: LGBT people are welcome in the Canadian military.

It does not come as a big surprise that Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participated in the Capital Pride in Ottawa on August 27, 2017, and in Montreal Pride one week earlier.

Frank-S / MensGo
Main source: Radio Canada International, August 25, 2017.
Initial source: Lemonde.fr, August 25, 2017.

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