Things That Matter

Argentina Now Offers a Non-Binary Gender Option On Their ID Cards

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People in Argentina who identify as non-binary can now be officially recognized as such by the Argentinian government. On July, 21st, Argentina gave out the first three National Identity Document cards that give people the option to mark “X” as their gender identity.

This measure makes Argentina the first country in South America to officially recognize non-binary people by their preferred gender.

Argentinian president Alberto Fernández expressed his excitement at the measure at a press conference. “There are other identities besides that of a man and a woman, and they should be respected–and they’ve always existed,” he said. “I hope one day we get to the point where IDs don’t say if someone is a man, woman or anything else.”

Of the three Argentinians to receive the first non-binary documents, one was a person by the name of Gerónimo Carolina, who has been fighting for the right to revise their birth certificate to say* “non-binary” for the last three years.

“I’ve been undocumented for three years,” Carolina told Pagina 12. “Having a document today that validates your gender identity with your name feels incredible. I feel legal.”

Many Argentinian LGBTQ+ activists are happy with what they believe is a step in the right direction.

Argentinian LGBTQ+ activist group Zona FALGBT called the measure a “historic advance in gender identity.” “Did you know that Argentina is the first country in the region to expand the recognition of identities in this way?” they continued. “There are sooo few [countries who recognize non-binary identities] in the world, this means that we are once again at the forefront in terms of human rights and diversity!”

However, there are some non-binary people who aren’t so content. Some non-binary people feel that the option “X” is inaccurate and reductive. Many non-binary people want the option of leaving the gender field blank. One of the three Argentinians who received the non-binary ID, Valentine Machado, made their negative opinion of the measure known. They wore a shirt with the words “We are not X” emblazoned on the front.

This progressive step is simply one of many that President Alberto Fernández has taken since his tenure in office.

Throughout his 2019 campaign, Fernández promised that he would advance the rights of women, gay, and trans communities. And so far, he has kept that promise. Since he has been in office, President Fernández has spearheaded the legalization of abortion. He also established a quota system to guarantee trans people take up at one percent of federal government jobs. He also reportedly asked his team to “avoid scheduling meetings that include only straight men.”

In a speech, President Fernández acknowledged the discontent of some non-binary folks who don’t like identifying as “X.” “I listened to the complaint of someone who said that there are other identities, and of course there are,” he said. “[Those identities] are included within that X which is an international convention that allows us to expand rights within limits. It is an advance, we should not deny this.”

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