Canada adds category X to its passport in support of gender diversity

2017-08-28 11:00 - Ishani Chetty
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Cape Town - Canada has moved forward with their acknowledgement of gender diversity with the implementation of a third category indicated on passports and other government documents. 

Canada is focused on advancing and implementing measures to protect what it describes as "fundamental human rights". 

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The 'X' Category

On 31 August 2017 - the category will be implemented in order to allow for a third choice when specifying one's gender on their passport. The use of the 'X' category is to allow Canadians the freedom to not specify their sex. The reason for the implementation is to allow locals to identify by the gender of their choice - this comes with an increased movement towards acknowledging all sexes.

As gender is becoming increasingly fluid and the movement towards allowing individuals to be understood as who they are regardless of physical appearance - it is important that countries recognize this.

As a result the use of the 'X' category allows individuals who do not identify as male or female to obtain government documents and a passport that reflects their gender identity.  

'Support LGBTQ rights'

Canada's Minister of Immigration, refugee and citizenship, Ahmed Hussen indicated in a statement made by the Canadian Government - that this decision has been implemented in order to support LGBTQ rights and to increase governments focus on Human rights and equality. 

Hussen stated in a press release, "All Canadians should feel safe to be themselves, live according to their gender identity and express their gender as they choose". This allows individuals to be accepted for who they represent themselves as in legal documents, providing them with equal rights. 

He went on to add - "By introducing 'X' gender designation in our government-issued documents, we are taking an important step towards advancing equality for all Canadians regardless of gender identity or expression".

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Recognizing all forms of gender expression 

The Prime minister, Justin Trudeau plays a pivotal role in ensuring that the rights of the LGBTQ community are heard and the movement towards embracing 'nontraditional' forms of gender expression is an important mission on his agenda. 

In November 2016 - Trudeau appointed Randy Boissonault, a member of parliament as the special advisory to LGBTQ rights. The implementation of the special advisory is focused towards promoting the rights of the community, preventing discrimination and protect the members of the LGBTQ community. 

The Prime Minister is making a concerted effort to increase gender diversity and acceptance of the various forms of gender expression in Canada. 

Trudeau recently took part is a march to demonstrate that #LoveisLove - showing his strong involvement within the community towards equality of gender expression.

A law passed in June 2017 made it illegal to discriminated based on gender identity or expression in Canada, with Bill C- 16 amending the Canadian Human Rights bill to include gender expression and identity.


Similar to South Africa law, which was one of the first to recognise same-sex marriages - this is seen as a landmark move in Canada towards the LGBTQ community - allowing them to be accepted and have equal rights. 

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