UK Passports should Include Transgender Title, says Stonewall
UK passports should allow people who do not identify as male or female to define themselves as X, an LGBT rights group has said.
In its five-year-plan to create equality for transgender people in Britain, Stonewall said many people are afraid to travel abroad for fear of intrusive questioning or difficulties at passport control.
In addition, those who do not consider themselves either male or female are provided with no other option when applying for legal documentation.
The plan, titled A Vision for Change, was created by the Stonewall Trans Advisory Group (Stag) and comes after HSBC said it was to offer transgender community a choice of 10 new gender-neutral titles.
Tara Stone, a member of Stag and one of 17 who drew up the plan, explained why an X option on the passport application was justified.
She told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “For trans people who identify as non-binary – that is, neither male or female, or some combination thereof – it would give them an option that wasn’t prescriptive, whereas the only options at the moment are prescriptive for them.
“It basically allows them to express their identity, and it’s not just trans people it impacts, it’s important to illustrate it would have a lot of benefits for intersex people as well.”
Intersex describes a person who may have the biological attributes of both sexes.
Asked if the X option would cause difficulty for those travelling to countries with a poor record on LGBT rights, Stone said: “It’s important that we have that option but that good advice is given by via the Home Office for people travelling.
“We do that to a certain extent now. It’s just a case of having the information there to make people aware so they can make good, informed choices.”
The plan also includes proposals for lobbying for a reformed Gender Recognition Act and Equality Act, producing workplace guides specifically on trans-inclusive policies and improving LGBT inclusion in health care.
HSBC last week said its account holders would no longer have to use conventional titles such as Mr, Mrs and Ms but instead be able to choose from a long list that includes Mx, Ind, M, Mre, and Misc. HSBC said titles chosen would be applied across customers’ accounts, including on their bank cards and all correspondence.
[source: The Guardian]