Australia has ruled in a landmark decision that people do not have to be registered as either male or female, and can instead be listed as "non specific" on public records.
"I am delighted with the verdict and the comprehensive judgment. Finally the legal reification of the gender binary has been set aside, and the law accepts that it must deal fairly with all people, male, female, or otherwise," 52-year-old gender-neutral activist "Norrie" told Gay Star News after the decision.
Gender-neutral activist "Norrie," 52, took the case against the New South Wales Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages to the Court of Appeals, and is referred to by the gender-neutral pronouns "zie" or "hir," according to CBC News.
Norrie's previous appeal against the Registrar was unsuccessful but on Friday the NSW court decided to overturn that earlier decision, meaning that it is now legal for a person in Australia to declare themselves as a non-specific gender.
The activist, who only goes by a first name, says that while the vast majority of society could be identified as male or female, the law should also provide a solution for those who do not fit in either category.
The Court of Appeals revealed in its decision that Norrie was born in Scotland as a male, but in 1989 underwent sexual reassignment surgery, which involved castration and the creation of a vagina.
"In her evidence, Norrie said that she undertook the surgery to eliminate the ambiguity in relation to her sex. She identified that ambiguity to be that although she was born with male reproductive organs, she identified as having a non specific gender identity. Her application to the Registrar was for her sex to be registered as "non specific," the court said, noting that it had chosen to refer to Norrie as a "she."
The Facebook page of Norrie MAy-welby, as the activist has named it, has hundreds of photos of gay pride parades that Norrie has attended. In the About section of the page, "Ecumenism" is listed as Norrie's religion.