Global Citizen is a community of people like you

People who want to learn about and take action on the world’s biggest challenges. Extreme poverty ends with you.

Citizenship

This Canadian Province Just Issued Its First Gender-Inclusive Passport

Ontario just issued its first non-binary birth certificate in what 35-year-old recipient Joshua M. Ferguson is calling a victory for the non-binary and transgender community.

Ferguson, who uses the pronouns they, them, and their, applied to change the indicated sex on their birth registration to “non-binary” in May 2017, CBC reported.

The case was pushed back, so Ferguson filed a human rights complaint, which led to the new changes in policy, according to CBC.

Take Action: Test Your Knowledge: Gender-Based Violence

There is now the option to obtain a birth certification with an ‘X’ for non-binary in place of an ‘M’ or ‘F’ in the "sex" field. People can also choose not to display a description at all.

"Ontario's new policy will save lives in the trans community. A birth certificate is the most vital form of ID for personhood. Being officially counted and recognized is empowering," Ferguson said in a release on Monday.

Last August, the federal government announced it would offer gender-neutral passports.

Read More: Canadian Passports Will Soon Offer Gender-Neutral Designation

"By introducing an 'X' gender designation in our government-issued documents, we are taking an important step towards advancing equality for all Canadians regardless of gender identity or expression," Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen said in a statement regarding passports last summer.

But the change on a birth certificate means even more.

"This moment not only reaffirms who we are, and our protection under the law in Ontario and in Canada, but it's a relief because we are counted. That's quite an incredible feeling, because it makes it clear that we exist," Ferguson told CBC.

Read More: A Canadian Baby Has Been Issued a Genderless ID Card

Gender-inclusive birth certificates are also available in Newfoundland and Labrador and in the Northwest Territories.

Global Citizen campaigns on gender equality and believes in protecting the rights of all people. You can take action here.