Thursday • 2012.02.09
How-To: Apply For “Sex-Unspecified” Canadian Passport in Protest
Please share this around Canadian civil liberty, and LGBT groups.
I have chosen to apply to Passport Canada for a sex-unspecified passport. Here’s how you can too.
Any Canadian may join in this protest. You should not need to be trans-identified to request a sex-unspecified passport.
Sex-unspecified passports are recognized around the world (even in Canada). They are a part of the internationally accepted ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organisation) standard, by which Canada claims to abide. In accordance with the no-sex option in this standard, some other countries including Australia, and New Zealand explicitly offer their citizens passports with no sex indicated (by coincidence, both countries also allow trans people to change their sex designations without requiring surgery).
Very recently, Transport Minister Denis Lebel made statements in the House of Commons that Canada is in compliance with the standards set by ICAO. Other representatives of Transport Canada have officially released similar statements. Despite this assertion, Passport Canada does not offer any standardized application option for a sex-free passport. But if Canada is in compliance with ICAO, as Minister Lebel claims, then Passport Canada should honour any request they receive for an ICAO-compliant passport with sex designation “X,” meaning “unspecified.”
And if they don’t honour such requests, it would be an excellent basis on which to form a human rights complaint.
Step 1 — Download and complete (leave “sex” blank!) one of the passport application forms available from Passport Canada’s website. Use the regular “Adult” application (PPTC 153), or the “Child” application (PPTC 155) if you are doing this for your kids. I advise you do not use the Simplified Renewal application (PPTC 054), because that form process does not allow for change of information like “name,” and so would make an excellent excuse for them to refuse you for trying to change the sex designation. Whatever form you pick, remember to fill it out properly, attach the required fee ($87), and include the proper photos signed by guarantor as required. In other words, don’t give them any legitimate reason not to fill your request!
Step 2 — In step one, we left “sex” blank on the form. I actually recommend that you black out the entire cell on the form with a marker, in order to make it harder for them to deliberately misfile it with a “sex” designation based on whatever “sex” designation is present on your birth certificate (government institutions have done this to me in the past).
Step 3 — Download, print, and complete this form letter (PDF), which I have created for this purpose. There are blank spaces on it for your name, date, and signature. Staple this letter on top of your application form, and send it to Passport Canada, at the mailing address provided on the application.
That’s it! Now, just wait for Passport Canada to consider (and probably reject) your application for a sex-unspecified passport.
I want to keep very close tabs on this campaign, so if you do apply (or plan to apply) in protest as I have outlined above, please drop a comment below (or contact me privately, if you prefer) to let me know you’re participating. I believe this will have the most impact if a wide number of Canadians take part.
I invite any persons who receive a rejection notice after following the steps outlined above to join me as co-plaintiffs in a human rights complaint against Passport Canada.
Of course, stay tuned for published results, once my application is processed and returned.
Disclaimer: ICAO standards are not recognized in the following states: Dominica, Liechtenstein, Niue, Tuvalu, Vatican City and the states with limited recognition. Anyone planning travel to these locales might want to consider skipping this protest for their own safety.