Transgender passport changes possible
Stuff.co.nz 3 July 2012
New Zealand could soon follow in Argentina’s footsteps by making it easier for transgender and transsexual people to change their gender on their passports. But some in the trans community say gender shouldn’t even appear on passports, which is something the United Kingdom’s Home Office is looking into. Instead of F or M under “gender”, they argue that it should instead be left blank. The New Zealand Passport Office is looking at changing its policy, which dictates that transsexuals and transgender people can have an X instead of an F or M on a passport. The gender can also be changed following a Family Court declaration, which allows a birth certificate to be altered. A declaration is only made if the person has medical evidence showing that they are in transition from one gender to another, such as undergoing hormone replacement therapy, or have had gender reassignment surgery. But from September, those in the trans community might be able to change their gender on their passport without the declaration or medical evidence, something only Argentina has allowed its citizens to do. The move would only relate to passports and was only in its consultation phase, a Department of Internal Affairs spokesman said.