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Mexico introduces passport for non-binary persons

Mexicans applying for a passport will no longer have to tick whether they are male or female.

This is the result of a new travel document regulation announced Wednesday (17) and hailed by top diplomats in the country as a historic step forward for people who identify as non-binary.

The new non-binary passport was unveiled at an event organized by Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard but was immediately criticized by some non-binary activists for confusing gender with sex.

, Mexico introduces passport for non-binary persons
Jesus Ociel Baena, who identifies as a non-binary person, poses for a photo after receiving the non-binary passport during the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia, and Biphobia in Mexico City (Photo internet reproduction)

Under the new passport policy, non-binary Mexicans who do not identify as either a man or a woman can respond with an “X” on the paperwork asking the applicant to choose between the biological sex categories of man or woman.

“Individuals applying for a passport may check an “X” in the box indicating gender, eliminating the need to indicate gender,” the State Department said in announcing the new policy.

Ebrard, seeking the presidential candidacy of the leftist Morena party in next year’s elections, called the new policy a “quantum leap” for Mexico.

Non-binary Mexican activist Alex Orue argued that Ebrard largely botched the attempt at progressive inclusion by blurring the distinction between gender and sex.

“It’s counterproductive because it confuses concepts and reinforces a stigma against our community,” said Orue, deputy director of global programming for the LGBTQ+ rights nonprofit It Gets Better.

Orue questioned whether those who identify as non-binary were consulted on the new policy, adding that it would be better to allow applicants on official identification documents to select “NB” when asked their gender.

“It may seem like a small detail, but it’s stigmatizing for non-binary people, and it becomes a matter of inspecting genitals,” Orue added, since gender identities don’t always match the physical characteristics of biological sex.

News Mexico, English news Mexico, Mexican politics, non-binary passport

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