Argentina becomes first country in Latin America to add non-binary options to ID documents

Argentina becomes first country in Latin America to add non-binary options to ID documents
AP Photo/Natacha Pisarenko
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Argentina has joined the ranks of countries instituting official recognition of “non-binary” genders, by incorporating identification cards that include an option for people who do not identify as either male or female.

The identification cards will allow people to put “x” in the national ID document and passports in place of their gender, which previously only provided options for male or female.

Argentina is the first country in South America to recognize “non-binary” genders, joining countries like New Zealand, Canada and Australia, which previously carried out the change. 

“There are other identities besides that of man and woman, and they must be respected,” said President Alberto Fernández, reported NBC News. Fernández, who leads the country’s center-left government, added that there are “a thousand ways to love and be loved and be happy.”

“The ideal will be when all of us are just who we are and no one cares about people’s gender,” Fernandez said. “This is a step we are taking and I hope one day we get to the point where IDs don’t say if someone is a man, woman or anything else.”

“The use of the ‘x’ has already been accepted by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and includes people who identify outside traditional gender definitions,” the outlet reported.

Argentina has made a number of progressive moves over the past year, including the legalization of abortion up to the 14th week of pregnancy, in 2020. 

The United States has made similar moves to roll out passports with an option for someone to alter their gender identification. Under the Biden administration, Americans can now select their chosen gender on their passports without first providing medical documentation to support a change. Details of the policy were released on the final day of Pride Month. 

The State Department announced:

You can now select the gender you would like printed on your U.S. passport, even if the gender you select does not match the gender on your supporting documentation such as a birth certificate, previous passport, or state ID. We no longer require medical certification to change the gender marker on your U.S. passport.

To request a new passport with a different gender than the one you have on your current passport, or if you are applying for your first passport, submit a new application and select your preferred gender marker. Follow the steps on this page to learn which form to submit. You can select “M” or “F” which are the gender markers currently available. We are working to add a gender marker for non-binary, intersex, and gender non-conforming persons as soon as possible.

“The ACLU unveiled that Americans will soon be able to select ‘X’ as a gender marker instead of ‘M’ or ‘F’ — a move that the organization called a “victory for trans, non-binary and intersex people’ who are seeking ‘accurate’ federal IDs,” the Daily Wire reported.

“Improved access to accurate passports will have such a profound impact on the lives of trans, intersex and nonbinary folks across the country,” said Arli Christian, a campaign strategist with the ACLU. “But the work doesn’t stop here. We will keep working with the administration to make sure we see these important changes to gender change policies across all federal agencies.”

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