New York City residents are about to have new option for denoting gender on their birth certificates: gender “X.”
A law allowing the choice of “X″ takes effect Tuesday. The measure passed earlier this year.
It allows people to change their birth certificates to “X″ by attesting that it reflects their “true gender identity.” Parents also can choose “X″ for newborns.
New York City is joining California, Oregon, Washington state in allowing an undesignated gender option on birth certificates. A similar provision takes effect in New Jersey in February.
In 2014, New York City eliminated a policy that allowed birth certificate gender changes only if people underwent gender reassignment surgery.
Instead, the city required an attestation from a medical or mental health professional. The new law nixes that requirement.
“Transgender and gender non-conforming New Yorkers deserve the right to choose how they identify and to live with respect and dignity,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “This bold new policy advances the fight for equality and makes our City fairer for all people.”
“New Yorkers deserve a birth certificate that reflects and affirms their lived reality,” said First Lady Chirlane McCray. “No one should have to claim a false identity because the government refuses to acknowledge gender fluidity.”
“For decades, New York City has been a place where people come to express their identity, but our institutions never afforded transgender and non-binary individuals control over their gender on government documents,” said Health Commissioner Dr. Oxiris Barbot. “By offering a non-binary option and a less burdensome way to change one’s gender on their birth certificate, the City is moving in the right direction towards full equality for New Yorkers who have historically been marginalized and ignored.”
“No one can tell you who you are, and only you can decide your identity. Now every New Yorker can make their own choice as to how their gender is represented on their birth certificates,” said Speaker Corey Johnson. “I have long advocated for this gender “X” category option and I am proud that New York’s birth certificates are now as inclusive as our City. I hope everyone who chooses to change their gender marker knows that their City government has their back and supports their decision.”