Commentary: Get the F off my ID

(Young Joo Jun/AQ)

I love lady’s night at clubs as much as the next mediocre-dancin’, lady-lovin’ person. Who doesn’t love boppin’ to music, hands in pockets, at the edge of a dancefloor?

I must admit, I’ve even used the F gender marker on my license to get that S Club or Twenty/20 stamp for free. I like to tell myself the F doesn’t stand for female, but instead stands for “FREE COVER, BITCHES!”

Here in New Brunswick I could apply to change my gender marker to M (which I can only assume stands for “Must pay cover”).

But I don’t want to.

Don’t get me wrong, I am happy that trans and non-binary folks like me are able to get their gender marker changed to M or F if they want. But those two options aren’t enough. If I changed mine to M right now it would just complicate things. And it wouldn’t represent who I am.

I might start being accused of using a fake ID if my gender marker and name don’t match my long hair and chest shape. I would be dishing out cash for new documents, I might be targeted by transphobes and worst of all, I would have to pay cover at S Club.

I’m sure nobody will be surprised that New Brunswick is one of the few provinces that still doesn’t offer X as an option for gender markers. Prince Edward Island is apparently “open to exploring more options” for gender markers. Manitoba is also dragging their feet on the X option.

I’m not trying to shit on Eastern Canada. Nova Scotia allows X markers and Newfoundland and Labrador was one of the first to allow this non-binary option. I understand this is a multifaceted issue, and governments are concerned with keeping people safe and streamlining the process.

Honestly, the best way to make this whole situation less complicated would be to remove sex designation completely from IDs. British Columbia and Ontario are the only provinces that allow this.

Of course, an X option is better than only having the F and M. But as much as I love the X-Men, it isn’t enough to help with the discrimination. I want an X on my ID about as much as I want a target on my face at an archery range.

By no means am I afraid there are transphobes everywhere waiting to harrass me. And I’m not arguing that all trans folks should be trying to go “stealth.” I am a proud non-binary person, and I honestly prefer when people know I’m trans immediately.

But for me, it’s not about feeling like my government ID represents and validates me. If that was the case, I would have taken more time to assure my past three ID photos didn’t look like mugshots.

Though validation is important, it’s more important that my ID streamlines the process of being ID’d, without adding more opportunities for misunderstanding or discrimination.

One common concern about genderless IDs is medical emergencies.

“What if you’re in a car accident, knocked out and they need to know your sex so they know how much medicine to give you?” some have asked.

First of all, I don’t think that paramedics search for IDs as someone is bleeding out in front of them. And if it’s a medical emergency in which I’m not incapacitated, I can tell them any info they need to know. 

Second, medication doses are related to body weight, for the most part.

To those with concerns I say: I am a human being and like everyone else, I don’t want to be judged based on my gender or lack-thereof, but rather on how fat I am.