Make room for non-binary people on electoral rolls

This may seem like a minor issue, but it exposes a system that always assumes a certain standard. Everything and everyone who deviates from this should be satisfied with a dummy solution at best

Municipal elections will be held soon. BIJ1 is also involved in Utrecht. We have a great list, full of people with empirical knowledge and radical ideas to make Utrecht a city for all of us. I’m also among those people as a list pusher, and I’m very proud of that. It is not often that trans (non-binary) people are eligible to vote in the Netherlands. At least until BIJ1 came along. Unlike other party lists, BIJ1’s electoral rolls are always full of transgender people. A much-needed representation, given the discrimination that trans people face in the Netherlands.

cc photo: Kruidhof

However, there is a problem. The disenfranchisement of trans people is also reflected in the Electoral Council, where political parties must register their candidates. The electoral board makes those lists where you can color a red square next to the name of someone in the voting room.

For these lists, the Electoral Council uses the personal data on the person’s identity card.

First of all, you must have an identity document to be eligible to vote, which completely excludes people living in the Netherlands without papers from defending their interests. But transgender people often live with a different gender and a different name than the one on the identity document. For example, I’m not binary and (because you need a passport) I’d like to have an X instead of a V or M. That’s just not possible, I’m working on lawsuit To make this process possible. Transgender women and transgender men do not always have the opportunity to modify their gender label, due to long waiting lists and other institutional obstacles raised.

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By following the data on someone’s ID card, the Electoral Council is denying nonbinary trans people our right to self-determination. As a “solution”, they are given the option of submitting the entire electoral slate without gender. So they’d rather erase everyone’s gender than give trans people (non-binary) the chance to be on the electoral roll as themselves. A non-dual person is not an absence of something, but a presence within himself. Just as people can choose an M or a V, we should also be able to choose an X. This also shows potential voters in the polling booth that there are non-binary people on the list, so there are more options than the traditional male or female.

This may seem like a minor issue, but it exposes a system that always assumes a certain standard. Anyone who deviates from this should be satisfied with a dummy solution at best, devised by those who meet the standard.

This example is one of the many reasons why trans people desperately need to get involved in politics. For years, the regime has done everything in its power to exclude us, to ensure that we are not taken seriously and that we can defend our interests. This exclusion is included in government laws and regulations. Until 2014, for example, one of those laws stated that transgender people must be sterilized before they can officially change their gender. And trans people who want to make the transition still have to take all kinds of tests to prove that we are what we say we are, which has led to years of waiting and misery. These laws and rules were put into politics, among other things, by the CIS. CIS people are people whose gender specified at birth happens to be correct and therefore not transgender. They mistake themselves for the natural norm and have devised laws for trans people from their position of power. This resulted in a mixture of discrimination and stigmatization, meaning that transgender people were not represented in politics, with few exceptions.

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Since BIJ1, there are more options to vote for all kinds of cool and knowledgeable trans people. So my call to the Electoral Council to enable self-selection, and your call to vote for a trans (left) person in this municipal election!

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