Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Legally Recognize Non-Binary Genders

Lately, I've come across a petition that's been circulating Tumblr that calls for the Obama administration to legally recognize non-binary genders, and since I figured that talks would be numerous over the oral arguments for DOMA and Prop 8 this week, I thought I would bring up something that may not get nearly as much discussion as marriage equality.

Here's the link to the petition: https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/recognize-non-binary-genders/80HYg71P

According to those who drafted the petition, Australia and New Zealand offer a third option, at least on, passports to give space for people who do not identify with the gender binary while the UK recognizes "Mx." as a gender-neutral title.

Currently, the petition is only a quarter of the way there with getting the required number of signatures to get an official statement from the Obama administration, so it is unclear if the petition will reach its goal since there is a limited amount of time that people can sign. There's a strong push for it on Tumblr, so there may be a last-minute rush to get 100,000 signatures.

I'm glad to see that there's a social movement out there that doesn't revolve around marriage equality and that there are nearly 25,000 people, thus far, that see this as an important issue for queer folks. I do think that the synopsis of the petition is somewhat ambiguous since it doesn't outline how the drafters want non-binary genders to be recognized. Maybe that is left up to the people it applies to to decide. Personally, I would love to see forms include a third option that is fill-in or even go so far as to leave gender markers as write-ins. There are so many genders that it would seem impossible to include all of them on all legal forms. As was seen in Queer Theory, Gender Theory, there were so many different responses to the question referring to gender identity that not all of them could be written down. I'm happy to see that there's a big online movement to get non-binary gender better representation when it comes to filling out forms that require gender be disclosed, and I hope that this isn't the last push to for gender equity, especially when so much time and energy is still being funneled into the marriage equality movement. I guess we shall see in due time!

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