It has certainly not been a quiet week for gay issues in the media, with debates on gay marriage and homophobic bullying in schools dominating the LGBT headlines. However, another couple of issues for LGB&T individuals have come up in addition to these, surrounding the issue of passports - both seemingly progressive.
Gender and Passports
After it was announced that transgender people will now be able to have their re-assigned gender on a passport, many thought "fantastic", whilst others thought "about time". The government's recognition that your 'real' gender is not always the one you were born with shows that we are all slowly beginning to come together into the 21st century with one another, which is a move in the right direction towards equality.
Despite this, there remains the problem for intersex individuals, who are forced to choose between ticking a 'F' or 'M' box on their passport. For many, having to make this choice is just as bad as a transgender male or female having to tick the box of the gender they were born with. Since, there have been talks within the Home Office which concern making passports gender neutral, so that intersex individuals do not have to make this choice.
Whilst there is a lot of support for this motion, with many saying that gender need not be used as a form of identification on a passport (as it is not on many other documentation types in the UK), some people disagree. There is the contrasting argument that many transgender men and women feel safe having their newly assigned gender on a passport for issues such as using public toilets abroad.
What is your stance on this? Should passports be made gender neutral? Should they stay as they are? Or, potentially, could a third box be added to gender of 'neutral/NA'? Does this strike an equal balance?
Parents and Passports
More recently in the news, and quite frankly a one sided argument, same-sex parents finally do not have to choose between 'mother' and 'father' when applying for passports for their children. Again, with the support of the argument that gender is not something we particularly need on a passport, same-sex individuals with children can now choose to be either 'parent 1' or 'parent 2'. This will take place in December of this year, and is a change that many have campaigned for for a long while now.
Perhaps all there is left to argue over is who gets to be #1...
In the midst of some other LGBT news headlines, it is great to see progress being made and voices being listened to. We are lucky enough to have some extremely powerful and passionate people using their status for the greater good, and taking into account the needs of LGBT individuals to have the same rights as all other people around us. This is what makes us extremely Loud & Proud of our community and those who support it!