Australia Revises Official Gender Guidelines

AUSTRALIA—No matter how you see yourself in term of gender, don’t worry, the Australian government has a category that fits you like a glove. It’s now also simpler to change your official gender designation, and all up to you. You have three choices: "male," "female," or "intersex,” but you may only choose one at a time. Sexual affiliation is another question altogether, but in the matter of gender self-designation, genitals either way is irrelevant.

The designation can even be reduced further, to simple letters. According to AFP, “The new guidelines state that ‘where sex and/or gender information is collected and recorded in a personal record, individuals should be given the option to select M (male), F (female) or X (Indeterminate/Intersex/Unspecified).”

That last category, as one can see, holds out pretty much limitless opportunities for self-identification, including the always popular Unspecified. It’s all in the name of avoiding a row.

Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus says the new guidelines, which begin July 1, will make it “simpler for people to establish or change their sex or gender in personal records held by federal government departments and agencies,” reported AFP.

Dreyfus in a statement last week noted, "We recognize individuals may identify, and be recognized within the community, as a gender other than the gender they were assigned at birth or during infancy, or as an indeterminate gender."

The new regs also state that “sex reassignment surgery and/or hormone therapy are not pre-requisites for the recognition of a change of gender in Australian government records,” and make it relatively easy to change a designation, requiring only “a statement from their doctor or psychologist, a valid Australian passport (which have allowed X under sex for several years), or a state or territory birth certificate or other document which shows their preferred gender status.”

Dreyfus added, "Transgender and intersex people in Australia face many issues trying to ensure the gender status on their personal records matches the gender they live and how they are recognized by the community. These guidelines will bring about a practical improvement in the everyday lives of transgender, intersex and gender diverse people."

Sure, as long as they don’t try to bring any adult films into the country that depict female ejaculation or small breasts. Gender sensitivity aside, they get nabbed at Customs.