Non-binary people in Argentina now have the right to identify their gender as “X” on identity documents after the country officially recognized gender neutral people.
President Alberto Fernández announced the new decree with the Minister of Women, Gender and Diversity and Interior Minister at a ceremony at the Casa Rosada Museum in Buenos Aires on Wednesday July 22.
Before the decree was implemented, people could only opt for two selections, “male” or “female” for the gender field on their IDs.
The new law will not only apply to citizens in Argentina; foreign residents will also be able to modify their IDs with the migration office.
“There are other identities apart from the identity of a man or a woman and they should be respected, and they have always existed, only that in other times they were hidden,” Fernández said during the conference, according to Reuters.
“It is a step that we are taking that I hope will end the day when no one will you are a man or a woman or whatever on your ID,” he added.
“For the first time I can say my full name and feel like it’s legal,” Gerónimo Carolina González Devesa, a 35-year-old doctor who was one of the first people to receive a new national identity document, said, the New York Times reported. “It’s the end of a long battle.”
González made history in 2018 when they changed the gender on their birth certificate after winning a legal battle to be allowed to leave the field blank.
“I am so happy with this new document,” Shanik Lucian Sosa Battisti, 27, who also received a new ID told the New York Times a day after. “It gives me peace of mind to present my document with my real name.”
Gómez Alcorta, the Minister of Women, Gender and Diversity, said that the decree was an action-focused law that will help construct a more equal and also more inclusive society.
Argentina is the first country in Latin America to officially recognize amendment for identity documents. Some of the other countries that have also taken this step forward for gender neutral people include Canada, Australia, India and New Zealand, according to CNN and BBC.