In a landmark move, the Government of Canada has, where official documents are concerned, created a special category for the third gender, naming it 'X'. Effective immediately, all official government documents and passports, including those issued by Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), will now have a category for those who don't identify as male or female.
This is a revolutionary decision in supporting and encouraging equality in Canada. The Minister of Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Ahmed Hussen in an official statement said,
"All Canadians should feel safe to be themselves, live according to their gender identity, and express their gender as they choose. By introducing an 'X' gender designation in our government-issued documents, we are taking an important step towards advancing equality for all Canadians regardless of gender identity or expression."
Coming to the scenario in India, to put an end to the discrimination members of the LGBT community face, the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill, 2016 was introduced in the Lok Sabha during the monsoon session last year. The bill calls for the prohibition of all forms of discrimination transgenders face. It seeks to ensure that a transgender person does not face any denial of service or unfair treatment in education, employment, or access to healthcare and safeguards his/her right to rent or own property.
According to The New York Times, there are eight countries apart from Canada — Australia, Bangladesh, Germany, India, Malta, Nepal, New Zealand, and Pakistan — that have a third-gender option on passports and/or official documents.