What’s the problem?
People who have a non-binary identity don’t identify as solely either men or women, they strongly identify as either having a gender which is in-between or beyond those two categories or as having no gender. (Having a non-binary gender identity is different from being born with an intersex body.)
Unlike other trans people, non-binary people currently have no legal recognition of their gender at all.
Every time they use health services, apply for a job, go to college, or interact with the state in any way, non-binary people are told that their existence is not valid; they must fit in to one of two categories, both of which undermine how they actually live and identify.
Scotland is falling behind the growing number of countries who recognise that some people do not identify as men or women and provide them with a gender-neutral option for legal documents, such as birth certificates and passports, to respect their non-binary gender. Currently Oregon and California in the USA, Australia, New Zealand, India, Nepal, Pakistan, Argentina, Denmark and Malta, all allow gender-neutral birth certificates, passports, or other official documentation.
What are we asking for?
New gender recognition legislation should acknowledge the fact that some people do not identify as men or women and allow people to choose to amend their birth certificates to reflect this. It must not be something that anyone is forced into doing but should be available as a legal option.
“For me Equal Recognition would mean being able to proudly say that my gender identity is legal and valid, without having to face abuse or ridicule.”
What’s international best practice?
Malta, Argentina, New South Wales in Australia and Oregon and California in the United States of America all allow non-binary people to have their gender fully legally recognised through self-declaration.
Denmark, New Zealand, Bangladesh, India and Nepal all allow non-binary people to be recognised on various legal identity documents, such as passports and national identity cards.