Manitoba approves non-binary, genderless status on ID cards

Manitoba approves non-binary, genderless status on ID cards

Manitobans now have the ability to display an ‘X’ or no gender at all on their government-issued licences and identification cards.

According to the CBC,

Manitoba joins Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island in becoming the only Canadian jurisdictions that offer customers the option to not display a gender marker on their licences and identification cards, while the X has largely been adopted across Canada and by international organizations, Manitoba Public Insurance said on Tuesday.

To make the changes, MPI worked with the Public Interest Law Centre, which has represented a group of non-binary individuals who approached the Manitoba Human Rights Commission with concerns about the way gender has been traditionally displayed on government identification.

In 2018, the CBC profiled one of their non-binary-identifying Manitoba freelancers who said having identification which reads “female” makes him “want to vomit.”

Earlier this year, the Manitoba's Progressive Conservative government announced that non-binary options will soon be available on birth and death certificates.

In 2018, StatsCan began testing non-binary gender options in their surveys, asking respondents if they are male, female or “please specify.” 

Some U.S states have also recently begun to offer non-binary options on their identification cards and government documents, with the moves igniting praise from some and concern from others. While some have heralded the recent shift as having the potential to reduce discrimination, some activists say it may impact crime reporting and have other more serious social consequences