In a recent press release, Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd and Attorney General Robert McClelland announced that Australia is easing regulations for transgender people who wish to change their gender on their passport. The new guidelines no longer require proof of sexual reassignment surgery or a changed birth certificate.
Additionally, a third “X” category will be added to accommodate intersex Australians who do not identify as male or female.
“Sex and gender diverse people now have the option of presenting a statement from a medical practitioner supporting their preferred gender,” Minister Rudd said. “This amendment makes life easier and significantly reduces the administrative burden for sex and gender diverse people who want a passport that reflects their gender and physical appearance.”
According to CNN, the Australian Passport Office elaborated, “A letter from a medical practitioner certifying that the person has had, or is receiving, appropriate clinical treatment for gender transition to a new gender, or that they are intersex and do not identify with the sex assigned to them at birth, is acceptable.”
“Most people take for granted the ability to travel freely and without fear of discrimination,” Attorney-General McClelland said. “This measure will extend the same freedoms to sex and gender diverse Australians.”
He added, “While it’s expected this change will only affect a handful of Australians, it’s an important step in removing discrimination for sex and gender diverse people.”
Photo credit: Diana Parkhouse (Creative Commons)