The Australian government has announced new guidelines on gender recognition which state that individuals should be given the option of selecting “male”, “female” or “intersex” on their personal documents.
Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus said the new guidelines, which come into operation from 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.
“We recognise individuals may identify, and be recognised within the community, as a gender other than the gender they were assigned at birth or during infancy, or as an indeterminate gender,” Dreyfus said in a statement Thursday.
“This should be recognised and reflected in their personal records held by departments and agencies.”
The move comes after the Australian Human Rights Commission in 2009 recommended the government consider developing national guidelines concerning the collection of sex and gender information.
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)”.
They 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.
When someone requests the sex on their personal record be changed, Dreyfus said the government would accept 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.
“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 recognised by the community,” Dreyfus said.
“These guidelines will bring about a practical improvement in the everyday lives of transgender, intersex and gender diverse people.”