18 March 2010

Neither M or F, but what?

A couple of days ago, I wrote about the Norrie, who became the first non-gendered person in the world. It's an interesting topic as it challenges how we view the world and its people.

Today, the Sydney Morning Herald (sourced from AAP) reported that the non-gendered status has now been withdrawn. Excerpt

Norrie, who famously became the first person in the world deemed neither male nor female, has now had the certificate confirming the gender-neutral status withdrawn.

NSW's Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages deemed invalid the certificate it issued on February 25 which established the 48-year-old's sex as "non specified".

It says it cancelled Norrie's "recognised details certificate" after receiving legal advice it was invalid.

"When I got the call on Tuesday I was absolutely devastated. I felt like I had been killed," Norrie told AAP on Thursday.

"My identity has gone all over the world ... (now the) attorney-general's taking back what they sold to me.

"If I sell you something by mistake ... I can't say: `Oh no, I have re-thought that. I didn't mean to do that.' I can't take it back off you."

Norrie, who only uses one name, wants to know why the registry didn't seek legal advice before issuing the certificate.

"Three weeks after they issued it and I go public ... somehow they get legal advice telling them they didn't have the right to issue it in the first place," Norrie said.

NSW Attorney-General John Hatzistergos told parliament on Thursday his office made some inquiries about the certificate after the issue was "ventilated" in the media.

He said legal advice provided to the registry said "the registrar may only issue a recognised detail certificate or a new birth certificate following a change of sex in either male or female gender".

read more

It is such a step backwards in acknowledging the reality of the diversity of gender identity. Too many people don't fit exactly into society's accepted stereotypes.

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