australia is less transphobic than, like, everybody

so we all know that australia passports now come with a third gender/sex option, right?  the gender/sex markers are “f”, “m”, and “x”.  well, that piques my curiosity; i’m so used to having my gender invalidated by the people around me that i’ve come to EXPECT it.  so i checked out the passport australia website and i found it a little ambiguous.  for example:

“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.”

what constitutes “appropriate clinical treatment”?  if your transition involves surgery and/or hormones, ok.  that’s “clinical treatment”.  but what about someone whose transition is largely social/emotional?

and where is the assurance that the australian passport peoples recognize non-binary gender?  cuz where i live,  most people don’t.  when i come out as non-binary trans, most people call me a pervert and walk away.  sometimes, they tell me i’m not “trans enough” and walk away.

so i emailed a request for clarification on the perquisites for obtaining an “x” gender/sex marker in australia.  i received this email from a veryvery prompt and helpful person with australia’s department of foreign affairs and trade:

“Dear mx. punk,

“The letter from the registered medical practitioner needs to state that
he/she has a doctor/patient relationship with the applicant and has treated
the applicant (or whose medical history I have reviewed and evaluated) and
declare that the applicant identifies as Male, Female or Indeterminate.
The doctor does not have to provide details of the treatment, but they do
need to be registered with the Medical Board of Australia.


that pretty much clears it up for me.  i mean, “indeterminate” is NOT how i would choose to describe myself, but it’s close enough.  i’ll take it like i’ll take your fingerpaints if you leave them unattended.  i mean, at least it isn’t “male” or “female”.  and i fucking love fingerpaints.

so, um, now i want to move to australia.  i’m totally willing to relocate to another continent in order to gain legal recognition as a person of non-binary gender.  fuck yes.

what about you?  do you think having a third gender/sex option is awesome?  would you move somewhere in order to obtain an “x” gender/sex marker?  do you think the concept will SPREAD?!  cuz that would be corking.

10 responses to “australia is less transphobic than, like, everybody

  1. I think australia would be a pretty good place to live. My dad lives there and he certainly likes it. However, he married an australian and even then it was a hassle for him to become a citizen, so I bet I’d stand no chance.

    I have some hope the gender-intermediate marker will spread to other countries in time. This does seem to be a period in history marked by a lot of trans and genderqueer people asking for their human rights. I can’t remember who first said “trans is the new gay” in political terms but I know what they mean, and I can really see the trans rights movement becoming part of the mainsream history taught about the early 2000s. For this reason I wouldn’t hurry to switch countries. For now I’m content waiting to see if and when the EU will catch up with Australia on this one.

  2. yeah, i bet it would be a hassle to become a citizen of australia; i’ve heard that before. i totally agree with you that this third gender marker thing will spread; that’d be… like becoming a neon space ninja who is friends with a dinosaur and gets to eat rainbow cupcakes. i can’t even fathom that kind of awesome.

  3. I totally agree. I also agree that gender markers shouldn’t require you to have surgery either, but I don’t see that happening anytime soon in the US. I think we need more gender markers… The more the better, I’d say, but people could potentially get carried away. I have this sort of feeling when it comes to gender designators, and I obviously have my own ideas on it. The rule of law is generally better when it takes a “slightly more conservative” stance for the benefit of order, but not to impede individual rights. I take the “orderly, but liberal” approach.

    I’d say that at least, male, female, neither, both, and indeterminate/unique (so M, F, X, Y, and Z respectively) are necessary. It is a common lettering method reserving X, Y and Z for other classifications that don’t fit typical family classifications. All children born intersexed would be Z, until they could determine for themselves which letter they felt they were. M and F should no longer be defaults alone, and any gender variance/dysphoria or sexually dimorphic ambiguities results in a Z until adolescence when things like hormones, gender identity and sexual orientation can be decided on.

    Such a gender system would make 5 gender distinctions for people to identify with, maintaining order, but being liberal enough to not try to erase all non-conforming identities. Also, I think it would be best to allow 2 letter gender designations with X, Y and Z. Let’s say you prefer being female, and want that legal recognition, but still feel to a degree you are both, you could hybridize your code as FY. Or if you felt you liked being recognized as male legally because of your gender expression, but felt you were indeterminate or felt genital surgery for an intersexed condition wasn’t your thing and felt no need to erase the Z, you could hybridize as MZ.

    If there must be legal designations, which I can see some of a use for, then make it as person centric as possible, without discrimination and erasure. On an emotional level, I feel the whole system in general can go ____ itself with a 2 X 4 with nails in it, on fire, moving at mach speeds, but I digress. I think any gender system codification is ultimately going to create division, and is logically inflexible against the polymorphic nature of human sex and sexuality. But, my proposal is just the next best step, I feel. Eventually they will be like bugs on the windshields of our spaceships moving at light speed, because as we grow, we are going to grow out of need for such divisions. At least that is what I think.

  4. awesome! i love your vision of humans outgrowing the need for “such divisions”; that would basically end war, oppression, poverty, etc. i think that when humans finally get over the need to classify things, we’ll officially be a new species altogether! yay!

    for now, though, i think that three gender markers is sufficient (til they stop making us use them). 5 letters with the possibility of combining them is waaaaay too complicated for my silly think-tank! i would be stoked with m, f, and x– with x meaning “either”, “neither”, “both”, “sometimes”, “not sure”, “not telling”, etc.

    sorry it took so long to reply to your comment; i read it immediately– then i went and did homework and studied for my exams. i’ve only just surfaced. whew.

  5. I agree. There are also still 5 combinations if you can mix F and M with X too, but I definitely do agree that simplicity is the word here for this. What do you think about the idea of making X the gender code for children with GID and intersexed conditions until the child can decide? Medical codification as X could also push the issue of medical transition clearly into the medical realm too, rather than being a “pathology” with in psychology. I think regardless, X should be a completely valid gender code, not just some intermediary or divisive designation. You can keep, or change that as you need it.

    As for your exams, I wish you luck. I kind of figured that much. GO MX. PUNK GO! MX. PUNK BAT SIGNAL ON! I don’t know if your done with them already or not, but I wish you my best anyways.

    By the way, I thoroughly appreciate the grounding commentary you make in your take on comments in our dialog. Like I always say, I am good at creating ideas, but not as good at making them into practical things. I am an artist and creative thinker after-all, and tend to be very abstract/surreal. Thanks again.

  6. i totally dig x as a marker for trans/intersex kids until they can decide if they want to change it or keep it; that’s rad! yay!

    thanks for the well-wishing and stuff! your creative brain is pretty awesome, i’d say. abstract/surreal = rad

  7. As an Aussie, the discovery of this is one of the few things that restored my pride in my country <3

    I'm totally going to get this on my passport the second I graduate Hell (i.e. Catholic all-girl's school that has horrible students but I'm still there because the teachers rock).

    Sadly, the existence of this doesn't mean Australia's any less nonbinaryphobic than the rest of the world. I found the comments on the news article that first announced this, and without fail, EVERY SINGLE ONE said that it was a stupid and overly politically correct change because 'everyone knows' that there's only two genders. One person did point out that it's possible to be intersex, but they confused intersex-ness with Klinefelter's syndrome (a major annoyance for me, considering how I'm obsessed with chromosomes and all their variations) and also failed to realize the existence of people who fall outside the gender binary.

  8. shucks, that bites. still, individuals around here AND my government are assclowns about it, so australia could still be plasmic in comparison. right? maybe? …at least i got to write “shucks”; i’ve always wanted to do that.

  9. It’s harder than you think. Going through all these hoops and jumps right now to get it and being medically assessed so they know it’s legit. It’s embarrassing.

  10. yeah, after i wrote this, i heard from a bunch of people who live in australia and they were all like, “yeah…no.” i was getting apologetic emails from australians telling me not to get my hopes up; it was actually really kind. anyway, this post is so hopeful and naive, it’s just silly.

    still, this shit’ll happen one day. i hope. right? right.

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