In line with the “lived reality”

Another version of the X on passports news:

The US has issued its first passport with an “X” gender designation – a milestone in the recognition of the rights of people who don’t identify as male or female – and expects to be able to offer the option more broadly next year, the state department said on Wednesday.

What rights? What are the “rights” of people who don’t identify as male or female that are different from the rights of anyone else? Spell them out and explain why only people who don’t identify as male or female have them. Is there a “right” to be called neither male nor female? What kind of right would that be? What would it be based on?

And even if it is a right (which I obviously don’t think it is, at least not without further explanation), how is the right squared with the need for passports to do what passports exist to do? How is the right squared with the need for accuracy on official documents?

It’s funny how seldom any of this is even mentioned, let alone discussed. It seems quite obvious that passports with meaningless fake details about ID are less useful than passports that are accurate (because why else do we have to go to all that trouble to get them?), yet we mostly politely don’t mention it in the news accounts.

The US special diplomatic envoy for LGBTQ rights, Jessica Stern, called the moves historic and celebratory, saying they brought the government documents in line with the “lived reality” that there is a wider spectrum of human sex characteristics than is reflected in the previous two designations.

No there isn’t. She means gender characteristics, and passports don’t record those. Passports aren’t about personality or clothes, they’re about a very short list of documented facts. Which of two sexes one is is one of those facts.

“When a person obtains identity documents that reflect their true identity, they live with greater dignity and respect,” Stern said.

Except that in the real world it’s their false identity, however much they feel it reflects the True Ineffable They. Again, for those in the back, passports don’t exist to reflect people’s “true” (i.e. fictional) identities, they exist to record their plain factual ones, for the inspection of officials at airports and border crossings. This is the real world, it’s not fucking high school.

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