• France's news in English
First French 'neutral gender' defends 'being genderless'
Photo: Whitecatsg/Flickr

First French 'neutral gender' defends 'being genderless'

AFP · 5 Feb 2016, 17:05

Published: 05 Feb 2016 17:05 GMT+01:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit
The 64-year-old individual, who reportedly uses a male first name but has asked to remain anonymous, appeared before magistrates in the north-central town of Orleans.
The plaintiff was born with a "rudimentary vagina" and a "micropenis" with no testicles, but was labelled a male at birth.
A court last August established the plaintiff's right to use the term "neutral gender" on official documents in the case, a first in France.
The state prosecutor decided to appeal the decision, saying that while he was not fiercely opposed he felt a higher ruling was necessary in a case that "collided with current laws".
After the closed-door hearing on Friday, lawyer Mila Petkova said:
"The court was very receptive. We were able to develop our arguments and we are happy at how the debate unfolded."
No date was given for a decision in the case.
In August, the magistrate stated that the "sex assigned to the individual at birth appears to be a complete fiction... imposed throughout (the plaintiff's) life.
"It does not amount to recognizing the existence of any kind of third sex, but to take into account the impossibility of attaching one sex or another to the concerned party," the magistrate added.
The plaintiff, who is married with an adopted child and lives in eastern France, spoke to the free Paris daily 20 Minutes in October.
"As a teenager I understood that I was not a boy. I didn't have a beard, my muscles didn't build," the individual said in an exclusive interview.
Story continues below…
"Today I finally feel I am recognized by society for who I really am."
The plaintiff told 20 Minutes that at age 35, after doctors administered testosterone: "My appearance became more masculine. It was a shock, I no longer recognized myself. It made me realize I was neither a man nor a woman."
Several countries including Germany, Australia, New Zealand and Nepal officially recognize a third gender on official forms.
India, Pakistan and Bangladesh also have an official third gender designation for so-called hijra citizens who do not identify as male or female.
Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Today's headlines
Calais migrants given mixed reception in French towns
Photo: AFP

Some in France have shown solidarity with their new guests, while others have made it clear they are not welcome.

Lonely Planet says Bordeaux is world's best city to visit
The fantastic new Bordeaux wine museum. Photo: AFP

After The Local France, the Lonely Planet has followed suit by urging everyone to head to Bordeaux in 2017.

Jungle shacks set ablaze and torn down as camp razed
All photos: AFP

IN PICTURES: The razing of the Jungle has finally begun.

Frenchwoman finds WW1 grenade among her spuds
Photo: AFP

It could have been a very explosive family dinner.

Refugee crisis
What rights to a future in France for Calais migrants?
Photo: AFP

What does the future hold for the migrants of the Jungle? Can they work or claim social benefits or travel freely inside Europe?

Pampers nappies 'contain carcinogenics': French study
Photo: Robert Valencia/Flick

The substances in the nappies are meant to prevent skin irritation but are cancerous, the study concludes.

France to scrap special prison wings for dangerous jihadists
Photo: AFP

The experiment has been ditched.

Myth busting: Half of French adults are now overweight
A model at the Pulp Fiction fashion show in Paris that represents society's diverse spectrum . Photo: AFP

Hold on, aren't the French all meant to be finely toned specimens with not an ounce of fat on them?

France poised to send bulldozers into Calais Jungle
Photo: AFP

As hundreds of migrants leave, the bulldozers are set to tear down the sprawling Calais shanty town on Tuesday.

UK to spend €40 million on securing Calais border
Photo: AFP

Britain spending big on security in Calais.

The annoying questions only a half French, half Brit can answer
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Forget Brangelina's chateau - here are nine others you've got to see
The must-see French films of the millennium - Part One
How life for expats in France has changed over the years
Why Toulouse is THE place to be in France right now
Video: New homage to Paris shows the 'real side' of city
The 'most dangerous' animals you can find in France
Swap London fogs for Paris frogs: France woos the Brits
Anger after presenter kisses woman's breasts on live TV
Is France finally set for a cold winter this year?
IN PICS: The story of the 'ghost Metro stations' of Paris
How to make France's 'most-loved' dish: Magret de Canard
Welcome to the flipside: 'I'm not living the dream in France'
Do the French really still eat frogs' legs?
French 'delicacies' foreigners really find hard to stomach
French are the 'world's most pessimistic' about the future
Why the French should not be gloomy about the future
This is the most useful French lesson you will ever have. How to get angry
Why is there a giant clitoris in a field in southern France?
French pastry wars: Pain au chocolat versus chocolatine
Countdown: The ten dishes the French love the most
Expats or immigrants in France: Is there a difference?
How the French reinvented dozens of English words
jobs available