Tuesday, 25 July 2006

A Bit Upset

I've just been contacted by phone by the Australian Passport Office to say that my application for an Australian Passport has been refused.

It was referred to the Policy Section, and the answer came down almost immediately.

I haven't provided sufficient documentation to prove my Identity and Citizenship.

I have provided them with the following:

Citizenship certificate in my former name
Name Change Document (showing a male gender as that was on my unchangeable UK Birth certificate) showing both former and current names
Medicare Card in the name of Zoe Brain
Drivers License in the name of Zoe Brain
Photo Student ID in the name of Zoe Brain
Last year's tax return in the name of Zoe Brain
Medical letter stating Zoe Brain is undergoing hormone therapy
Letter from the Federal Attorney-General about my marital status to Ms Zoe Brain
Letter from my former place of work confirming my odd medical condition, and the radical changes that happened before any therapy commenced.
Bank statements in the name of Zoe Brain
Credit card Statement in the name of Zoe Brain
Letter of Offer for my PhD in the name of Zoe Brain
Expired Australian Passport showing a male gender and former name
Current UK passport showing a female gender in the name of Zoe Brain

I mean, what the heck? How many hundred points of Identification data is this?

It's still not enough. I've also been asked to submit not one but two letters from registered medical practioners detailing the results of gynacological examinations, showing exactly what surgery I've had. None, as yet.

When I do have the surgery, it won't be a normal sex change, as I'm Intersexed, so it's unlikely in the extreme to meet their requirements.

The application is being held open, as I still have to get some documentation from Medicare Australia, proving my verbal statements. Documentation stating that I'm medically female, and have been specially authorised treatment under the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme for "moderate to severe androgenisation of a non-pregnant female" - something that can only be done on application by a specialist endocrinologist. It will then go up to Policy (ie the Minister) again. I have little hope of success. They already know this data, all this is is confirmatory evidence.

This is ridiculous. I've given them more than the website requires, far more. Yet it's never enough. All thoughts of common sense or rationality have gone overboard.

Quite seriously, common sense would dictate that if I have a Female UK passport, issued by the country I was born in, then on strictly "convenience" grounds I should have the same gender in an Australian passport.

The Australian Passports Act 2005 authorises the APO to determine my citizenship, and my identity. That's all. Not what I had for breakfast, not what surgery I have had, and not the exact configuration of my genitalia. How dare they question the health authorities decision? None of them pretend to any medical qualification.

Oh well. I'll have to send some pictures of my non-standard genitalia to the surgeon anyway, to let him know what he's up against. I might CC them to the APO. If they insist on an obscenely pornographic invasion of privacy, maybe I should give it to them.

Hey, I've already been about as humiliated as it's possible to be, having had to provide verbally intimate details of the most personal and private nature just to get this far. It's not hyperbole, nor exaggeration to say this is Bureaucratic Rape.

Sorry, I'm upset. Angry, hurt, but also determined too. Sorry, tears on the keyboard, more later when I'm a bit more myself.

No comments: