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Chile accepting ‘X’ as sex for national IDs

Chile accepting ‘X’ as sex for national IDs

Shane Cienfuegos became the first person in Chile to receive a non-binary national identity document last week after nine years of legal fights, reports The Washington Post.

Cienfuegos, 29, is the head of social intervention activities for the Trans Diversity Organization of Chile. The organization reportedly called the achievement a “collective victory” for the LGBTQ+ community.

And while Cienfuegos said the community is happy about this step, the fight is not over.

“Today, an X shows up on my card [for the sex entry], but social rights and public policies are for men and women, so no computer system will recognize me. It will automatically kick me out. Because of this, I am deprived of the entire care system that the Chilean state has to offer,” Cienfuegos told Chilean alternative publication The Clinic.

This comes a little over a year since Argentina, the first country in Latin America to recognize same-sex marriages, started recognizing non-binary people in legal documents.

Cienfuegos’ legal process was supported by the Legal Clinic of the Faculty of Law of the University of Chile, which was dedicated more than a decade ago to advising trans and non-binary people so that they could have their identity legally recognized.

Mexico and Colombia followed suit a few months later, but in Chile, the legal battle was harder, requiring individual court rulings for plaintiffs to get documents reflecting their gender identity.

Lorena Lorca, Cinefuegos’ lawyer, reportedly told the Post that there are 60 more cases in Chile. Only seven of them have received favorable rulings so far.

Chile plans to authenticate people in its national digital ID system with face biometrics and other modalities, but questions remain about how accurate facial recognition algorithms are when it comes to gender fluid situations.

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