Which Countries Recognize a Third Gender?

Eight countries have recognized a third gender, yet the U.S. still only recognizes the male-female binary. So, which countries recognize a third gender?

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Recently, more than 100,000 people signed a petition that asked the White House to expand its definition of gender. Specifically, it requested that the U.S. government broaden the way it looked at gender, beyond the traditional male-female binary. The petitioners wanted to include transgender, agender, genderfluid, pangender, among others. Currently, U.S. government agencies do not account for people who identify in a way different from "male" or "female"-if you live in the U.S., just think of the last time you filled out any sort of official paperwork. The Obama Administration offered a tepid response, with little indication of any definitive next steps.

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While the idea of adding additional boxes on a DMV or U.S. Census form may seem insignificant, other countries are rapidly adopting broader gender definitions. Nepal, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Germany, New Zealand, and Australia all allow citizens to legally idenitify as a third gender. It's rumored that Thailand's new constitution will also include a third gender. With this in mind, the question is not if the U.S. government will follow suit, but when.

Learn More:
Why We Don't Know The Size Of The Transgender Population (FiveThirtyEight)
"In 2001, Kerith Conron was working on LGBT issues in Boston's health department."

7 Countries Giving Transgender People Fundamental Rights the U.S. Still Won't (Mic.)
"On March 20 a White House petition was launched asking the U.S. government to consider one thing: Recognize non-binary genders and give citizens who don't fit in the male or female categories a new, legal status."

Definition of Terms
"For the most complete definitions, we encourage you to compare what you find here with information from other sources as language in our communities is often an evolving process, and there may be regional differences."

The Way Of The Two Spirited People (Dancing to Eagle Spirit Society)
"The two-spirited person is a native tradition that researchers have identified in some of the earliest discoveries of Native artifacts."