Monday, January 30, 2006

ID Cards: Arthur or Martha?

Now we've heard all the arguments against ID Cards so I was almost rendered dumbstruck by something a friend just pointed me towards on the BBC's website.

"Transsexuals who have yet to have a sex-change operation will be entitled to two ID cards, Home Office Minister Lady Scotland of Asthal has said. One would be in their gender at birth and the other in their legally-acquired "gender of designation".

Read more HERE. What I don't get is this. If you're a woman and about to become a man, how can you have a concurrent ID card as a man. Won't the photo still be of a woman? Call me old-fashioned...


Aidan said...

I spotted this story earlier myself - I can only presume that you are entitled to a free card to replace your old one once it becomes invalidated by the sex change but it's hard to tell without reading the document itself. But it does somewhat sound like what you suggested.

Anonymous said...

I suppose it's for all people who're planning to have the full operation, but they haven't done it yet.
If they're already "dressing" and living as a female, it could be annoying to have a ID card with a male gender in it.

barbara worth said...

My entire knowledge of gender re-assignment has been gleaned from magazines and television programmes, so I am not an expert. However, I gather that reputable surgeons will not perform operations unless the patient has lived for at least a year dressing etc in the gender which they wish to adopt (perhaps more accurately described as the gender to which they feel they rightly belong).

Patients will probably be having hormone therapy during this time too. So it seems only humane to allow a new identity card to be issued before the actual operation has occurred or even for the person concerned to hold two identity cards (one in each gender) for a while during this transitional period.

Personally I'm against the whole ID card notion, but let's not go there.

Anonymous said...

No, let's go there. Surely this is a perfect demonstration of what is so wrong with ID cards?

Your identity is a balance between your own feelings and the perceptions of those you meet. In some areas, such as gender, it is more to do with how you feel, in others more to do with how you relate to others, but it must never be decided by grey shapeless beaurocrats.