UK passports should offer gender neutral option ‘X’, urge LGBT campaigners

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LGBT rights group Stonewall warns many people who define themselves as transgender in the UK are ‘afraid to travel abroad’ because they fear intrusive questions at passport control

She became my shelter

UK passports should give the option for people to define themselves as gender neutral “X” as an alternative to male or female, campaigners have urged.
LGBT rights group Stonewall has called for the measure to be introduced, warning that many people who define themselves as transgender in the UK are “afraid to travel abroad” because they fear intrusive questions at passport control.

The group made the call as part of a five-year plan launched on Wednesday with the aim of creating equality for transgender people in Britain, of whom there are an estimated 650,000.

Stonewall warns that transgender people can face unnecessary obstacles in everyday situations because of the way gender is recorded on official documents and the processes in place to change recorded gender, including the use of gender markers on passports.
The report states: “Many trans people are afraid to travel abroad for fear of intrusive questioning or difficulties at passport control. This can be especially worrying for those travelling with children, particularly if they had, or adopted, children when they were legally a different gender.”

It adds that non-binary people also face a lack of protection under the law due to the limited gender choice on many official documents, meaning they “must constantly live as someone they are not”.

“Non-binary people are not recognised or protected under law. Official documents ask people to describe their gender as male or female, often providing no other option, even when gender has limited or no relevance to the purpose of the document,” it states.

Read More: Independent

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