Saturday, August 8, 2015

Male, Female or Other? First Third-Gender Passport Issued in Nepal

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 In Nepal, the Department of Passports has revealed that it has issued its first passport in which the applicant’s gender is marked ‘other’.

The applicant, who has yet to collect the passport, has been identified in media reports as Manoj Shahi who now prefers to be known as Monica Shahi after undergoing gender reassignment surgery, according to the Himalaya Times.

To apply for a passport that states the applicant’s gender as ‘other’, the person must first have a citizenship certificate showing a similar status.

 Nepal first recognized and allowed for applicants to identify as third gender in the census and citizenship card in 2011. In January this year, the provision was extended to passports. India, Australia and New Zealand are known to also allow applicants to list their gender as neither male nor female.

According to activists, usually transgender persons get passports that identify them as a 'Female'. This is not an identity that most transgender persons are comfortable with.

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