Individuals who do not wish to identify as male or female can now mark an “x” in that category on their Canadian passport form, thanks to new federal regulations that take effect Thursday.
The new option is being rolled out across the country just one week after it was announced. New forms are in the works to offer all three options. In the meantime, individuals who do not identify as male or female can write “X” on their passport form.
Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen says the move is part of a plan to make all-government-issued documents gender neutral. He added that Canadians should be free to “express their gender as they choose.”
Activists hailed the move when it was announced last week, after years of government indications that it would eventually be brought into effect.
However, some point out that the process may be complicated by provincial rules that don’t accommodate for a third gender option.
Ontario offers gender-neutral options for drivers’ licences and health cards, while the Northwest Territories permits “x” as a gender option on birth certificates.
The International Civil Aviation Organization permits governments to allow a third sex or gender category.