Australians may now apply for passports that will list them as being male, female or a third option.

Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd and Attorney-General Robert McClelland announced the new guidelines to make it easier for sex and gender diverse people to get a passport in their preferred gender.

According to the Australian Passport Office, a passport may now “be issued to sex and gender diverse applicants in M (male), F (female) or X (indeterminate/unspecified/intersex)”.

Under the guidelines, sex reassignment surgery will also no longer be a prerequisite to issue a passport in a person’s preferred gender.

Instead, “sex and gender diverse people now have the option of presenting a statement from a medical practitioner supporting their preferred gender,” said Rudd.

“While it’s expected this change will only affect a handful of Australians, it’s an important step in removing discrimination for sex and gender diverse people,” said McClelland.

The Organisation Intersex International Australia welcomed the news, describing it as a “remarkable reform in equality and human rights for sex and gender diverse Australians”.

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