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Androgyny Recognised As Official Gender In Australia
# 1 : Saturday 13-3-2010 @ 11:49
A person in New South Wales who was formerly a Male to Female transitioning transsexual has had their gender officially recognised and recorded on their birth-cert as 'non specified'

Norrie, who goes by that name and that name alone - i.e. no surname - has decided on 'zie' to replace the traditional gender pronouns 'he' or 'she'. Zie has had no problems or barriers put in zis/zer (?) way when getting bank accounts and other documentation changed.

"I went into the bank and the woman's eyes lit up when she saw the certificate, and she said, 'What a good option'," Norrie said yesterday.

Centrelink was flummoxed and had to call in computer programmers to tackle the task, but agreed to find a way.

Overall I think this is a good thing. For one, it will take the pressure of the parents of intersex infants and children to decide on a gender for their child, usually within a few weeks of birth. These infants usually then have sex-reassignment surgery.

However, I do wonder about the validity of this statement by Norrie:

''I think there are a lot of people who would like to have this kind of certificate and not just people who are physically different. Many women would like to have them because sex can so often lead to discrimination.''

I don't know if I fully agree there. Given the huge discrimination and stigmatisation that transsexuals suffer in society, I wonder will a gender-neutral or 'sex unspecified' status really do away with sex and gender bias in society???

Or, perhaps Norrie is right.

Either way, its certainly a step forward for people who are born intersex, leaving the person themselves to decide on a gender, if any, at a later point in life, rather than having the parents choose almost immediately after birth - during what must be quite a traumatic time anyway.
What do the folks of Gaire think?

Full story here: http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/sexless-in-the-city-a-gender-revolution etc ...
# 2 : Saturday 13-3-2010 @ 11:56
I don't know if I fully agree there. Given the huge discrimination and stigmatisation that transsexuals suffer in society, I wonder will a gender-neutral or 'sex unspecified' status really do away with sex and gender bias in society???

It is wonderful that this has taken place, but I doubt very much if it will make any real impact on the discrimination against transexuals in our society..
How many will even understand words such as gender-neutral or try to understand..?
Okay many peopel will rejoice in the fact that they are recognised officaly as gender-neutral and that is wonderful, but I imagin ethey would prefer to be accepted fully for who and what they are in society..
# 3 : Sunday 14-3-2010 @ 04:30
strange that they will accept an asexual-non gender person, but not allow same sex marraige
# 4 : Sunday 14-3-2010 @ 04:47
I agree it a step forward, but for who (now in fairness I'm speaking to the OP), so will this belittle who I am in the law, doubt it, I be belittled anyway, well thats going to happening as it has, I have to walk forward regardless of this, and unfortunately that is the turth, regardless of things I have to move forward, and be who we are. That was a press article from someone like us, but she might want to change sex, maybe that should be asked. before we starting judging people. Who knows if you really thought about it you have a business
# 5 : Sunday 14-3-2010 @ 08:18
Time for a SONG!!!

# 6 : Monday 15-3-2010 @ 22:53
Interesting development and hope it helps in attaining a more tolerant society, but isn't androgeny still a category? It's not really possible to think without them.
# 7 : Thursday 19-8-2010 @ 16:50
Interesting article from Newsweek


Are We Facing a Genderless Future?

A small but growing number of people are rejecting being labeled male or female.

This spring, an Australian named Norrie May-Welby made headlines around the world as the world’s first legally genderless person when the New South Wales Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages sent the Sydney resident a certificate containing neither M for male or F for female.

For a few days, it appeared that the 48-year-old activist and performer had won a long legal battle to be declared “sex not specified”—the only category that felt right to this immigrant from Scotland. May-Welby’s journey of gender identity can only be characterized as a long and winding road. Registered male at birth, May-Welby began taking female hormones at 23 and had sex-change surgery to become a woman, but now doesn’t take any hormones and identifies as genderless. The prized piece of paper May-Welby sought is called a Recognised Details Certificate, and it’s given to immigrants to Australia who want to record a sex change.

But the victory was short-lived. After so much publicity, it was perhaps inevitable that the New South Wales government would backtrack—which it did a few days later, saying the registry didn’t have the legal authority to issue a certificate with anything but male or female. May-Welby (who now goes by the single name Norrie) has filed an appeal with the Australian Human Rights Commission.

It’s easy to dismiss this case as just one more bizarre news story from Down Under, but May-Welby’s case could also represent the future of gender identity. Although no one is keeping statistics, researchers who study gender say a small but growing number of people (including some who have had sex-change operations) consider themselves “gender neutral” or “gender variant.” Their stories vary widely. Some find that even after surgery, they simply can’t ignore previous years of experience living as another gender. Others may feel that their gender identity is fluid. Still others are experimenting with where they feel most comfortable on what they see as a continuum of gender. “For some, it’s a form of protest because gender is such a strong organizing principle in our society,” says Walter Bockting, an associate professor and clinical psychologist at the University of Minnesota Medical School who has been studying transgender health since 1986. “Their identities expand our thinking about gender.”

In fact, some researchers compare the evolution in thinking about gender to the struggle that began a generation ago for gay and lesbian rights. Dr. Jack Drescher is a member of an American Psychiatric Association (APA) committee that is currently reviewing changes to the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, which is used around the world by clinicians, researchers, regulatory agencies, and insurance companies to classify mental disorders. DSM-5, as it’s called, won’t be published until 2013, but Drescher’s committee is reconsidering the diagnosis of gender-identity disorder, which encompasses people who do not identify with the gender assigned to them by biology.

The current debate echoes the controversy over the APA’s 1973 decision to modify the second edition of the DSM by declaring that homosexuality could be considered a mental disorder only if it was disturbing to the patient. Drescher’s committee thought about dropping the diagnosis of gender-identity disorder altogether, but realized that if it did, people who wanted treatment (sex-change surgery, hormones, or talk therapy) wouldn’t be able to get the diagnosis they need for insurance coverage. Instead, Drescher says, the committee is proposing changing the name to “gender incongruence” and making the diagnosis contingent on the person feeling significant distress over their gender confusion. “We didn’t want to pathologize all expressions of gender variance just because they were not common or made someone uncomfortable,” Drescher says.

But that seemingly simple change of language could help usher in a new era, in which a person’s gender could be expressed or experienced as male, female, “in between,” or “otherwise.” “People who work in this area have very flexible notions of gender,” Drescher says. “We don’t want to force people to fit into a doctor’s categories,” even though, he concedes, most cultures “tend to think in binaries.”

Bockting predicts that such binary thinking will eventually disappear. Many scientists, he says, see gender as a continuum and acknowledge that some people naturally fall in the middle. Gender, Bockting says, “develops between the biological and the environmental. You can’t always detect gender by physical evidence. You have to ask the person how they identify themselves; in that sense, it’s psychological.”

And gender isn’t synonymous with sex, he says, although the distinction may elude the layman. Sex, Bockting says, is assigned at birth based on the appearance of external genitalia. But, he says, “to determine a person’s gender identity, you have to wait until they grow up and can describe how they identify their gender.” And being genderless or gender-neutral isn’t the same thing as being asexual. “If you are asexual,” he says, “you are not interested in having sex with other people,” while gender-neutral people may be attracted to men, women, both sexes, or other people who are gender-neutral.

And while May-Welby’s story may seem out there, Bockting says it’s not uncommon for people undergoing sex changes to find that surgery doesn’t resolve all their gender-identity issues. “With time,” he says, “they accept a certain amount of ambiguity … We have this idea that people take hormones and undergo surgery and become the other gender. But in reality it’s more complicated.”

Even before the advent of sex-change surgery, there were always people who felt they didn’t fit into either gender. In India, a group of people called hijra have existed for centuries. They are typically biological males who dress as women but consider themselves to have neither gender, Bockting says. There is also a long tradition of eunuch culture. Even today, other countries are more comfortable with the idea of gender variance. Drescher says that France has removed transsexuality from its list of psychiatric disorders and put it in the category of rare diseases. The British government has also declared that transsexuality is “not a mental illness,” but people who want a sex-change can get treatment under the National Health Service.

How all the debate will play out in this country is still unclear, but college students may be among those leading the charge for change. Many campuses—including Harvard, Penn and Michigan—now offer gender neutral housing and more unisex bathrooms to accommodate students who don’t fall neatly into male or female categories. The Common Application, which is used by most college applicants, just announced that it is considering adding voluntary questions that would give students a broader array of choices to describe their gender identity and allow them to state their sexual orientation, after gay advocates urged the change. How long before such changes begin to show up in other parts of society is unclear. But Drescher says he is certain of one thing after a lifetime of working with gender: "There is no way that six billion people can be categorized into two groups." Now if we could only figure out the pronoun problem.
# 8 : Saturday 17-8-2013 @ 16:32
# 9 : Saturday 17-8-2013 @ 16:37
I can't imagine that many people opting for that. Oh it's if their gender isn't determinable at birth, I thought it was just about labels.
# 10 : Saturday 17-8-2013 @ 16:39
Someone said :
I can't imagine that many people opting for that.

I am not sure how it will work and perhaps when I said "option" - it isn't an option but will be specifically for people who are born intersex
# 11 : Saturday 17-8-2013 @ 16:56
There is hope for everyone...

# 12 : Sunday 18-8-2013 @ 00:50
Is that for babies born with male + female genitals?
Reply Website
# 13 : Sunday 18-8-2013 @ 01:20
This is the report so it seems parents can choose it even if the child isn't intersex

Germany is set to become the first country in Europe to introduce a third, "indeterminate" gender designation on birth certificates. The European Union, which is attempting to coordinate anti-discrimination efforts across member states, is lagging behind on the issue. The option of selecting "blank", in addition to the standard choices of "male" or female" on birth certificates will become available in Germany from November 1. The legislative change allows parents to opt out of determining their baby's gender, thereby allowing those born with characteristics of both sexes to choose whether to become male or female in later life. Under the new law, individuals can also opt to remain outside the gender binary altogether. Germany is the first country in Europe to introduce this option -- Munich-based newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung is referring to the change as a "legal revolution". It remains unclear, however, how the change will affect gender assignment in other personal documents, such as passports, which still require people to choose between two categories -- "F" for female and "M" for male. German family law publication FamRZ has called for the introduction of a third category, designated by the letter "X". The law was passed back in May, but has only now been reported on, following an article this month in FamRZ -- just six weeks after Australia became the first country in the world to introduce legal guidelines on gender recognition. Under the Australian system, which applies to all personal documents, individuals can select the third category irrespective of whether or not they have undergone sex reassignment surgery or hormone therapy. Brussels Under Pressure Finland is the only EU member state aside from Germany to have made significant progress in the area of third gender recognition. Despite its efforts, bureaucratic hurdles in the Nordic country have meant that there is still no concrete legislative change in sight. According to Silvan Agius, policy director at human rights organisation ILGA Europe -- the European chapter of the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association -- the European Union is lagging behind on the issue. Though Brussels commissioned a report on trans and intersex minorities in 2010, and has since attempted to coordinate efforts to prohibit gender discrimination, progress has been halting. "Things are moving slower than they should at the European level", says Agius. "Though Brussels has ramped up efforts to promote awareness of trans and intersex discrimination, I would like to see things speed up." The subsequent EU report on potential changes to European Union law, which was published in 2012 and co-authored by Agius, found that discrimination against trans and intersex people was still "rampant in all EU countries." "Germany's move will put more pressure on Brussels," Agius concludes. "That can only be a good thing."

# 14 : Sunday 18-8-2013 @ 10:27
What type of world are we living in... I'm all for transgender recognition, but adding a third gender?? That just seems weird

Gender is socially defined
# 15 : Sunday 18-8-2013 @ 12:19
Someone said :
What type of world are we living in... I'm all for transgender recognition, but adding a third gender?? That just seems weird

Gender is socially defined

There are people who don't identify as male or female
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