This Teen Can't Open a Bank Account for a Ridiculous Reason

May 2nd 2016

Laura Donovan

For people who are gender queer or gender diverse, being forced to choose between male and female on forms can be a pain.

A Scottish Family is fighting to change that.

According to Buzzfeed News, Scottish teen Kaelin Farnish (who uses the pronoun "they") said that they have been unable to open up a bank account because they are forced to choose between "male" and "female" when creating an account. Kaelin told BuzzFeed News that they needed a new bank account because their old one used their female name from birth.

Their dad, Keith Farnish, is hoping Kaelin's story will raise awareness about gender non-binary issues.

Farnish told BuzzFeed News that one bank only offered "Miss," "Mrs," and "Mr.," as options, but not "Mx," which many gender non-binary people prefer. Kaelin told BuzzFeed News that they spoke to a representative from the bank, who explained that someone else had complained about this before, but never called Kaelin back to resolve the issue as promised.

Farnish told BuzzFeed they couldn't find a single bank that didn't force Kaelin to pick a gender when signing up for an account. "Every single one requires gender to be male or female. Why are they collecting this information at all? Why is gender important? There are other ways of identifying people," he said.

Obstacles like these force gender non-binary people to feel like they are "different."

"But I don’t think I’m particularly different to other people – I just don’t fit male or female, I drift somewhere in the middle," Kaelin told BuzzFeed News. "So going on to the websites and seeing that, it’s disheartening. Even people who haven’t grasped the concept of non-binary or haven’t met anyone who’s non-binary will know that transgender people exist.”

Kaelin's experience is sparking a conversation.



Kaelin's bank account issues represent a larger issue facing gender queer and gender diverse individuals.

As ATTN: recently reported, Australian photographer Emma Leslie created a photo series of gender queer and gender diverse children to "shine a light on a topic and to give a voice to those who may not have the avenue to do so."

Leslie told ATTN: that the teenage children featured in her series revealed their experiences with bullying and harassment to her. "They are very aware that there are many people in the world who can’t and may never understand gender dysphoria," Leslie told ATTN:. "They are strong about it, however, I’m sure it has taken some thick skin to get through it."

Emma Leslie Photography

Oliver, the teen pictured above, told BuzzFeed News in an interview about Leslie's project that he recognizes the increased danger and hostility he faces as a trans individual. "Trans youth are among the most ridiculed people," Oliver said.

"We don’t have a lot of rights over our own body, let alone our lives. [Trans youth critics] have no idea of our problems, they have no idea what it’s like to raise a young trans person, to be around a trans person, what we face. I am at a much higher rate of being assaulted, harassed, just for my body, which is mine.”

[H/T BuzzFeed]

RELATED: This Gender Non-Comforming Summer Camp Is Pretty Incredible