Canadians who don’t identify as male or female will soon be able to use a third gender denotation on passports and government documents: “X.”
“X,” which will indicate the document holder is of an “unspecified” gender, will be available for government documents starting Aug. 31. The third category’s incorporation is an effort to allow Canadian citizens to identify by their preferred gender and is part of a broader push for Canada to embrace nontraditional gender expression.
“By introducing an ‘X’ gender designation in our government-issued documents, we are taking an important step towards advancing equality for all Canadians regardless of gender identity or expression,” Ahmed Hussen, the minister of immigration, refugees and citizenship, said in a statement.
In November, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau appointed Randy Boissonnault, member of Parliament for Edmonton Centre, to be a special adviser on LGBTQ issues. In June, the Canadian Human Rights Act was amended to include gender identity and gender expression to the list of classes protected from discrimination.
According to the New York Times, eight other countries—Australia, Bangladesh, Germany, India, Malta, Nepal, New Zealand, and Pakistan—offer a third gender option on passports or government identification.