Mexico City witnessed a landmark shift in passport protocol on Wednesday, May 17, 2023, when Mexico’s Foreign Ministry announced a policy permitting passport applicants to forgo the traditional male or female selection. Instead, an ‘X’ option has been introduced, a move heralded by the nation’s Foreign Minister, Marcelo Ebrard, as significant progression for non-binary individuals.
The unveiling of the non-binary passport took place during an event hosted by Ebrard, yet the policy quickly came under fire from several non-binary activists. The main criticism being that the policy blurs the line between the distinct concepts of gender and biological sex.
The policy adjustment allows non-binary Mexicans, who don’t identify within the conventional man or woman gender classification, to mark ‘X’ on the form field where applicants previously had to choose between male and female, both biological sex designations.
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According to the Foreign Ministry, the ‘X’ marker will serve as an identifier of sex on passports, thereby eliminating the need to determine gender. This is a new approach as Mexican passports, up until this change, did not ask applicants to declare their gender, only their sex.
Ebrard, a prospective presidential nominee for the leftist Morena party, declared the policy as a monumental stride forward for Mexico.
However, this sentiment was not shared by all. Alex Orue, a non-binary activist and deputy director of global programming for the LGBTQ+ rights non-profit It Gets Better, criticized the move as counterproductive, claiming it muddled the definitions of gender and sex, thereby reinforcing stereotypes against the non-binary community. Orue proposed that the solution should be to provide applicants with an ‘NB’ option on gender specification questions on official documents.
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Orue further highlighted that gender identities often don’t align with physical characteristics of biological sex, making this an issue of privacy as well as identity.
This article is based on the news from asiaone.