Canada allows foreign visitors to identify their gender as ‘other’ for travel documents

Canada joins the ranks of a handful of countries which allow foreign visitors to identify themselves as gender-neutral.

The country this week changes its rules to allow some foreign visitors to identify themselves either as ‘male’, ‘female’ or ‘other’.

Officials announced on Monday that the border documents being introduced this week would have the third option for gender.

The Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada spokesperson said that the counry was also taking steps to allow passport holders to display ‘other’ on their documents.

“IRCC is committed to facilitating the issuance of identification with a sex designation that reflects a person’s gender identity,” the spokesperson said.

Canada joins the likes of Australia which offers a gender ‘X’ option in addition to ‘male’ and ‘female’ on passports.

Others including New Zealand, Nepal and a few other countries allow third options.

The move was celebrated by Lambda Legal which called for the US to offer the same option.

“This small step of inclusiveness for visitors is yet another reason for Canada to implement a third gender marker on passports, an option currently under serious consideration,” Paul Castillo, a senior attorney at Lambda Legal, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

“Inaccurate documents serve only to discriminate and impose barriers upon people who are neither male nor female.”