BUENOS AIRES Argentina has become the first country in Latin America to officially recognize non-binary gender people who can now choose to have their gender marked X on their national identity documents and passports if they are not identified as female or male. .
The amendment, approved by decree by President Alberto Fernndez, is the latest example of how he has made it a priority to expand the rights of women and sexual minorities. This comes weeks after he signed into law a measure that leaves aside one percent of public sector jobs for transgender individuals, which Congress passed in June.
We need to expand our minds and understand that there are other ways to love and be loved and there are other identities besides the identity of the man and the identity of the woman, said Mr. Fernndez on Wednesday at a ceremony where he presented the first three national identity documents with non-binary markers. And they must be respected.
Argentina joins several other countries, including New Zealand, Canada and Australia, as well as several US states, that allow a non-binary gender marker on identity documents.
Last month, the U.S. State Department said it was working to create a gender marker for people who identify as non-binary in passports and citizenship certificates. The use of X to denote a gender is accepted by the International Civil Aviation Organization.
For the first time I can say my full name and feel legal, said Gernimo Carolina Gonzlez Devesa, a 35-year-old doctor who was one of the people who received a new national identity document on Wednesday. It’s the end of a long battle.
Dr. Gonzlez changed gender on their 2018 birth certificate, making history by winning a legal battle to become the first person in the country to be allowed to leave the field empty.
But the doctor was not allowed to obtain a national identity document without specifying a sex, which means they were in fact undocumented. The situation provoked constant anxiety, said the doctor, who often uses them as a personal pronoun, just like many other non-binary people.
Shanik Lucian Sosa Battisti, 27, described it as an attempt to present a document that did not represent their true identity after a legal battle that ended in 2019 with a judge giving permission for their gender to be listed on the certificate of their birth as NB for non-binary
I am very happy with this new document, they said the day after they received it. It gives me peace of mind to present my document with my real name.
One person who has announced plans to obtain a new non-binary identity document is the president of a 26-year-old child, a performer named Dyhzy.
I consider myself a non-binary person, Said Dyhzy in a live video on Instagram.
Since taking office in December 2019, Mr. Fernndez, a center-left leader, has made a broad effort to liberalize Argentine laws, with an emphasis on gender equality and identity, and sexual orientation. Late last year, Argentina made history by becoming the most populous country in Latin America to legalize abortion; has also legalized the cultivation of marijuana for medicinal use.
The president has made a push to use more gender-neutral language in government communications as well. This is a challenge in Spanish, which treats any noun as either masculine or feminine, and traditionally uses masculine forms of plural nouns and adjectives to be used in mixed groups.
Mr Fernndez said on Wednesday that he often said to Elizabeth Gmez Alcorta, Argentina ‘s minister of women, gender and diversity, “Let us take advantage of being in power and let us advance everything we can.”
The new documents did not come without controversy, as a person who received a new document on Wednesday wore a t-shirt that read, We are not X.
Mr. Fernndez later noted that the non-binary marker was not an ideal solution. He expressed the hope that one day it might not be necessary and that everyone would refer to gender neutral terms.
This is a step I hope will end the day when IDs do not say if someone is a man or a woman or whatever, said Mr Fernndez. This is what we really need to achieve.
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