Alex MacFarlane

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For other persons of the same name, see Alexander Macfarlane (disambiguation).
Alex MacFarlane
Born Victoria, Australia
Known for First known person to hold passport with X sex marker

Alex MacFarlane is an intersex person born with XXY sex chromosomes in Victoria, Australia. Alex MacFarlane is believed to be the first holder of an indeterminate birth certificate and passport.[1][2][3][4][5]


MacFarlane is believed to be the first person in Australia to obtain a birth certificate recording sex as indeterminate, and the first Australian passport with an 'X' sex marker in 2003.[1][2][3][4][5][6]

MacFarlane was reported as receiving a passport with an 'X' sex descriptor in early 2003.[1][2][5] This is stated by the West Australian to be on the basis of a challenge by MacFarlane, using an indeterminate birth certificate issued by the State of Victoria. The West Australian newspaper reported in January 2003 that the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade "had decided to accommodate people whose birth certificates recorded their sex as indeterminate ... Alex is also believed to be the first Australian issued with a birth certificate acknowledging a gender other than male or female. Alex's says "indeterminate – also known as intersex". It was issued in Alex's birth State of Victoria, which unlike WA, changed its policy to allow the category".[1]

Several other Australians are known to have adopted sex non-specific or indeterminate identification documents subsequently. Tony Briffa JP previously acknowledged as the world's first openly intersex public official and mayor,[7][8] states on Briffa's website that "my birth certificate is silent as to my sex".[9][10] Norrie May-Welby is a Scottish-Australian who is popularly – but erroneously – often regarded as the first person in the world to obtain officially indeterminate, unspecified or "genderless" status.[11][12][13] May-Welby became the first transsexual person in Australia to pursue a legal status of neither a man nor a woman, in 2010.[11][12][14][15] That status was subjected to an appeal by the State of New South Wales.[13] In April 2014 the Australian High Court ruled "that New South Wales laws do permit the registration of a category of sex other than male or female".[16]


  1. ^ a b c d "X marks the spot for intersex Alex", West Australian, via 11 January 2003
  2. ^ a b c "Ingrid Holme, "Hearing People's Own Stories", in Science as Culture, Volume 17, Issue 3, 2008"
  3. ^ a b Newsletter of the Sociology of Sexualities Section of the American Sociological Association, American Sociological Association Sexualities News, Volume 6, Issue 1, Summer 2003
  4. ^ a b Ten years of ‘X’ passports, and no protection from discrimination, Organisation Intersex International (OII) Australia, 19 January 2013
  5. ^ a b c "Neither man nor woman", Sydney Morning Herald. 27 June 2010
  6. ^ Passports Non-Gender-Specific?,, 2 July 2010
  7. ^ "Intersex Mayor Elected in Australia",, 9 December 2011
  8. ^ "Tony Briffa Of Australia's City Of Hobsons Bay Becomes World's First Intersex Mayor",, 10 December 2011
  9. ^ "OII VP Tony Briffa to wed partner in NZ ceremony – Gay News Network", Gay News Network, 27 September 2013
  10. ^ "About Tony ... | cr Tony Briffa",, 2012
  11. ^ a b "No sex for me, please! Ex-transsexual Australian Norrie May-Welby is first legally genderless person", New York Daily News. 16 March 2010.
  12. ^ a b "Briton is recognised as world's first officially genderless person", The Telegraph. 15 March 2010.
  13. ^ a b "Norrie May-Welby's battle to regain status as the world's first legally genderless person", Daily Life Australia. 8 November 2013
  14. ^ "I'm not a man... or a woman". Scottish Sun. 15 March 2010. Retrieved 15 March 2010. 
  15. ^ "Norrie May-Welby: The World's First Legally Genderless Person", The Huffington Post. 18 March 2010.
  16. ^ "Gender ruling: High Court recognises third category of sex". ABC News. Australia: Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 3 April 2014. Retrieved 6 November 2015.