I Am Not Your Boxable Statistic

Posted on 20/06/2013 by


So now you can be an unspecified gender on some Qantas forms. Which is lovely. Because you couldn’t do that last time I flew. Also, on the ESTA* website there’s a section that says, If you obtain a new passport or change your name, gender or country of citizenship, you will be required to apply for a new travel authorization. I just love that gender is included in that list as something you might change, because you might. And it’s nice to have that acknowledged along with the implication that they totally have forms for dealing with that now.

I really like it whenever there’s an official-type acknowledgement that form-creators are broadening their horizons.

Forms have always seemed to me like the most callous denial of individuality. They’re designed to put people in boxes. It’s their fundamental purpose. I get that. But it’s endlessly irritating if you fall outside their categories for whatever reason.

It doesn’t happen so much anymore but when I was a kid I spent an awful lot of time leaving sections of forms blank because their options didn’t apply. So I can’t help being delighted whenever a company or government or institution demonstrates that you can add boxes to a form and expand the possibilities.

As long as they keep boxing people I don’t think they’re ever really going to solve the problem but if they keep trying maybe one day they’ll end up with a write-in box where you can say, None of your goddamn business and they’ll let it stand.


* US temporary VISA thingy


Posted in: Kandace