Canadians will soon have a third option to identify their gender on passports under new rules that will come into effect by the end of the month.
Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen said he was making the change so all Canadians can feel safe to be themselves 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,” Hussen said in a statement.
Beginning Aug. 31, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) will introduce an interim measure to allow people to identify themselves as having a gender that is unspecified.
The federal government did not say what the interim measures would include, but did explain that they will only be in place until the government can print documents with an X instead of an M for male or F for female.
Officials said the change is meant to offer transgender individuals the option to accurately describe their gender identity without being forced to identify as their birth gender.