non binary
GenderSexuality and Gender

Argentinian government issues non-binary IDs and passports

A couple of days ago, Argentina became the first country in Latin America to recognise non-binary gender in its ID cards and passports.

Non-binary gender recognition

Argentina became one of the few countries in the world to issue non-binary gender IDs and passports. Currently, Canada, Germany, New Zealand and Australia are the countries in which non-binary individuals can express their identities on their national identity cards and/or passports issued by their national entities.

non-binaryFrom now on, if you are an Argentinian citizen, and you are a non-binary individual, you will have the chance to have your sex marked as an “X”.

According to a decree published in the official gazette:

In a first for the region, any applicant who does not identify as either male or female can tick a third box that will cover a variety of options, including non-binary, unspecified, undefined and “another meaning which can be used to identify a person who does not feel understood under the male/female binary.”

This very new option, which extends beyond the standard female/male binary parameter is meant to safeguard and visualize gender identity.

Historically, the use of the “X” has been accepted by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) and people who identify outside traditional binary gender definitions are included.

At a ceremony held at the Bicentennial Museum in Buenos Aires, Argentinian president, Alberto Fernández handed over the first three documents issued under the new regulations to non-binary individuals.

“There are other identities besides that of man and woman, and they must be respected,” said Fernández in a speech, adding that there are “a thousand ways to love and be loved and be happy.”

“The government should not care about the gender of its citizens,” declared the Argentinian president, who was accompanied at the event by campaigners, non-binary citizens, Interior Minister Eduardo ‘Wado’ de Pedro and Women, Gender & Diversity Minister Elizabeth Gómez Alcorta.

Fernández has been an advocate of progressive social reform, pushing legislation through that legalised abortion in Argentina late last year. He said that he believed his country’s embrace of same-sex marriage, under a law in force since 2010, “was the beginning of this whole path towards diversity.”

“The ideal will be when all of us are just who we are, and no-one cares about people’s gender,” he said in his speech. “This is a step we are taking and I hope one day we get to the point where IDs don’t say if someone is a man, woman or anything else.”

The president’s son, Estanislao Fernández, a design student and a well-known drag queen who goes by the stage name ‘Dyhzy,’ said Wednesday that they would update their DNI with an ‘X,’ in support of the change as a “non-binary person.”

The Argentine LGBT Federation (Federación Argentina LGBT) celebrated what it defined as a “historic advance in the matter of rights.” It hailed the “activism of organisations” that had pushed the reform through.

“Although the use of the ‘X’ is not totally inclusive, in recognition of the wide range of identities that exist, it is an important step on the way to real equality of rights,” the Federation said in a statement.

Even though this new regulation was highly celebrated among the audience and LGBT activists at the Bicentennial Museum, a minority refuses to be marked as an “X” stating “We are not an X”.

It is fair to mention that not long ago, Argentinian government also introduced a quota for transgender workers, guaranteeing them 1% of state jobs. Is that 1% enough? I do not think it is, considering that most of transgender individuals are forced to prostitute themselves for a living due to inequality and discrimination.

According to the government, “the right to identity has a direct and indissoluble link with the right not to suffer discrimination, to health, to privacy and to carry out one’s life plan.”

There is still a lot to be done in terms of social and civil rights for minorities. This should not be a win for the government but for all those who fought for this for so long.