Transgender activists in the Netherlands are celebrating what they call "great news" for those who are "often asked unnecessary and indiscreet questions on trains or at the border," as the country is set to eliminate the gender field on all national identification cards.
Education Minister Ingrid van Engelshoven made the announcement, saying that the practice of gender identification on I.D. cards inflicted unnecessary pain on those who identify as LGBT. The move, she said, would help all citizens develop their "own identity in freedom."
The Dutch government is also considering removing references to gender and sex on other official government documents, a trend that is catching on throughout Europe.
Last year, the French replaced the words "mother" and "father" with "Parent 1" and "Parent 2," and a year before that, the Germans began offering a "diverse" category for those who wanted a gender option beyond male and female.
The changes in the Netherlands will not be applied to international passports since they are bound by rules common to the entire European Union.