Should governments be required to add another gender option on forms besides male/female?

The ministry wanted the person to produce medical evidence that would show that their lived gender identity is indeed pan gender.
The ministry wanted the person to produce medical evidence that would show that their lived gender identity is indeed pan gender. (Photo courtesy Ontario Ministry of Transportation)

All of us have filled out government forms at one time or another, be they applications for passports or driver license renewals. One of the usual questions on these forms is whether you are male or female. Easy to answer, right?

Not for everyone.

Currently, there is a case in front of the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario, in which a person that identifies as pangendered is arguing for the right of their own gender identity in not having to identify as male or female in identification documents but rather that there be another option for pangendered people, such as an X instead of M or F.

Pangendered means that the person does not identify as only one gender but may identify as a member of all genders at the same time.

The pangendered person in this case brought the challenge because they prefer the use of “gender-neutral pronouns.” These pronouns include “they”, “them” and “theirs.” As such options are not available on government identification, the person filed a complaint with the tribunal against the Ministry of Transportation and the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, alleging discrimination.

The ministries wanted the person to produce medical evidence that would show that their lived gender identity is indeed pangender. The person did not want to disclose medical records arguing they were irrelevant as the complaint was not brought based on medical grounds.

The interim decision was that medical records had to be produced for the pangendered person, as they were considered relevant in the case.

The question that arises out of this case isn’t whether medical records should be provided to prove one’s gender but rather if it is time governments provide another gender option on forms and government identification other than male or female?

Is it really that hard to put another box on forms saying “not male or female” or even add a line with the question, “what is your gender identification?” and leave it open for the person to provide the information?

Cases like this one could be avoided by simply providing another option for gender identification on government forms and identification documents.

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