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The Un-Gendering of Airline Tickets

Back in 2017, the Canadian government announced that it would allow a third option for gender on the passport which, basically, is an X for unspecified.

Fairly recently, US airlines have started to allow for two additional options when buying tickets: unspecified and unidentified. Canadian airlines are pending guidance from the federal government before they proceed.

All of which leads to me to ask, why is gender even on either?

The prevailing argument I have heard is about identity confirmation, but I'm not really buying that. My passport has an "M" designation, but there is no law that specifies that I can't travel dressed and appearing very androgynous or feminine as long as the photo and I match up, at least within and between countries that don't kill transgender people. It's not like they check inside everyone's pants or up everyone's skirt at passport control points. Airlines also don't stop to confirm your bits before allowing you to board.

I think it's time we just drop that whole concept off the ticket and passport. It's not critical information, it doesn't change the seat I get to sit in, the food they, sometimes, serve me, or any other aspect of travel. In other words, it's not something any person along the travel chain really needs to know.

As an aside, I think I'm really flabbergasted that the US, under the current Administration, is actually ahead of Canada in making some of these changes.

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