Norrie May-Welby: The World's First Legally Genderless Person

Norrie May-Welby: The World's First Legally Genderless Person

UPDATE 3/19 -- 3:00 PM ET The Telegraph reports that Norrie May-Welby, who made headlines after recently receiving an official designation of gender neutrality in Australia, is now lodging a protest after the document was withdrawn this week over questions of whether the New South Wales registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages had the power to issue such a designation.

Norrie May-Welby has become the first person to be officially designated as gender 'not specified' - being neither a man nor a woman.

May-Welby, born a man 48 years ago in Scotland, became a woman at age 28 after a sex change operation in Australia. However, May-Welby did not feel comfortable as a woman and desired to become a 'neuter.'

Officials in New South Wales, Australia have now altered May-Welby's birth certificate to specify the neutral gender.

May-Welby has posted some thoughts about the reclassification on a blog:

If I need to show identity documents, I certainly don't want details that are false, for this will only cause trouble when officials realize I don't match my documents.

If my passport, for example, states that I am female, I may be detained when traveling if the local jurisdiction classes me based on the gender assigned at birth, or if my physically noticeable masculine aspects (for example, my Adam's apple, or my broad chest) are noticed.

If the passport states male, again there is a dissonance with my physical form, castration having had a feminizing effect, and I am usually moving and talking in a feminine manner.

May-Welby goes on to speak of being "grateful that at least the state of New South Wales is able to deal with me on such an adult basis."

A spokesperson for the UK's Gender Trust welcomed the classification: "Many people like the idea of being genderless."

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