Federal

Mar 8, 2018

The banality of discrimination: how bureaucratic inertia is failing non-binary people

With so many people now identifying as non-binary, you'd think government departments would be more accommodating. Unfortunately, that hasn't been the experience for many non-binary people.

Liz Duck-Chong — Freelance writer

Liz Duck-Chong

Freelance writer

In 2003, Alex MacFarlane quietly became the first person in the country to obtain a passport with neither an M or an F in the sex field. Almost 50 at the time, they had spent much of their adult life pushing to obtain an X there instead, demarcating indeterminate, intersex, and/or unspecified.

Ten years later, in a move that Professor Gillian Triggs called "profoundly significant", the federal government introduced the "Australian Government Guidelines on the Recognition of Sex and Gender", a publication that built on progress made in the decade prior and mandated that all federal institutions comply with standards of terminology, privacy, and care.

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