Christie Allan-Kane Fights for “X” in Passport: “It’s Inhuman to Mark a Man or a Woman”
Male or female, these two options are still present in UK passports. Christy Allen-Kane can’t fit into these categories and is fighting for an “X” nearby. for almost three decades.
The old year ended with the defeat of Christie Allen-Kane. The UK Supreme Court dismissed Allen-Cain’s appeal in mid-December. “X” is not an option. Allan-Cain demands a gender neutral passport in the passport, but lost the same case against the British government in March 2020. Other countries already provide this option. In Germany, civil status has been “diverse” since 2018. According to the Employer Network Organization for Equality and Inclusion, at least twelve countries, including Denmark, Argentina, Canada, the United States, India and Pakistan, may have “diver” or “X” entered in passports.
Despite recent defeats, Per won’t give up – Per the pronoun Christy uses he or she instead of Allan-Kane. It is derived from the English “person”. Harsh Spoke to Allen-Kain about the decades-long struggle for recognition that began as a single.
Christy Allen-Kane, what are your hopes for this new year?
Full legal recognition of people who do not fit into the male or female categories.
In December, the Supreme Court dismissed her complaint. What did that trigger do to you?
To be honest, I am shocked by this decision. I was angry. This shows a lack of understanding of the matter. Many countries state that it is possible to put an “X” in the passport.
They have announced that they will take the matter to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg. How do you rate your prospects there?
Me and my team are confident. But we just don’t know. So far, such cases have been resolved at the national level. This will be the first such case in Strasbourg.
What does the “X” in a passport mean to you?
This is a clear misinterpretation when I have to indicate male or female in docs. Passport determines my identity. Ticking a male or female is inhumane.
They were born girls. When did you know you were in the wrong body?
as teenagers. But my transition took a long time. That was a long process for me.
You had your breasts and uterus removed in your early 30s.
I was 31 at my first surgery, a mastectomy, and 33 at my second, a hysterectomy. Some people today will not understand this radical move. At the time, however, there seemed to be no alternative. Times were different.
Was there a stage in this process when you thought you’d like to be a man from now on?
No, never. I knew I was in the wrong body. But I also knew I didn’t want to be a man.
How did the people around you react to your move then?
Agreement. I didn’t want anything to do with someone who didn’t do it anyway. That thing still applies today. I already see it in greetings. I use per as a pronoun. Some ask me how I should be addressed, others I point it out in conversation. Anyone who reacts here without understanding will never really respect me.
You spoke publicly about your transformation in an interview with the BBC in the early 1990s. Looking back, how was that experience for you?
In retrospect, he was gullible. A BBC producer wanted to talk to a man who lives in a strange way. At the time I spent a lot of time with a group of trans people, that’s how contact happened. I thought after the interview everyone knew about me and it would be a good way to come out, especially for work. But it was not so. I lost my job I was working in marketing at that time. I didn’t want to contact customers. After that I wrote many, many applications, but nothing worked. In the end, all I could do was activism.
You started your fight almost three decades ago – a different time. How lonely did you feel then?
A lot in the beginning. There was no social media. At some point I knew of just three people around the world who, like me, defined themselves as non-gendered.
What strength have you gained over the years?
I have someone who supports me a lot. During this time I have also got the support of many others. And I am inspired by the injustices that still exist.
First the British government, then the Supreme Court spoke out against the “X” in the passport. How do you see the mood of the country: Will the public be ready for it?
Yes I think so. I feel a lot of openness and encouragement. Unfortunately the anti-trans movement is also growing in the UK and the UK government seems to be supporting it. I believe if the government changes then my chances will increase too.
What do you think needs to be changed in other areas other than the passport?
in some. With insurance companies, for example, it should also be possible to tick off something other than male or female. or in banks. When my bank switched to online banking, I was not able to use it earlier as I had to mark either male or female here. Finally, the bank introduced the third option. My work made a difference here. We also need gender-neutral toilets. Certainly much still remains to be done.
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