New York City has made it easier than ever to change gender legally, removing restrictions that required a doctor’s note and adding a third “X” category to birth certificates to accommodate intersex and non-binary people.
New Yorkers can change their gender to “X” by merely attesting that it represents their “true gender identity,” where previously they required a doctor’s note to make the switch legally. Parents can opt for the “X” for their newborns without the sworn statement. Those unlucky enough to be born outside New York will have to wait for restrictions to loosen still further.
Since 2014, New York residents have been able to legally switch genders with only a note from a medical or mental health professional. Previously, they were required to undergo surgery before they were allowed to make the switch.
To all trans and non-binary New Yorkers: We see you, hear you and respect you. Starting in 2019, all New Yorkers will be able to change their gender on their birth certificate to M, F or X — without a doctor’s note. pic.twitter.com/we4TbCVdhJ
— NYC Mayor’s Office (@NYCMayorsOffice) December 29, 2018
New York Mayor Bill de Blasio’s office celebrated the milestone earlier this week by tweeting a clip of a non-binary person praising the move as “an essential step toward the breaking down of binary ideological systems created in order to justify and uphold social, political, and economic oppression – systems which result ultimately in the separation of us all…from ourselves and our humanity.”
Others took a dimmer view of the move.
How about pot holes, subways, traffic, rising tolls, taxes, education, port authority, technology AND SO MUCH MORE!!!! You want to focus on some bogus science? What’s an X anyways? X-men? Mutants? Well, that kinda makes sense. Sure. X is cool.
— Dhiman Raja (@dhimanraja) December 30, 2018
People are going to abuse this to get discounts or special benefits such as scholarships for women. There are already lawsuits in Canada over this. Where do you put X in jail or in hospital in sports? In actuality this spits on transgenders who want to be M or F. Lawsuit heaven.
— Don Steckler (@DonSteckler) January 1, 2019
@NYCMayor and how many times can a person change this on their birth certificate? One week I’m a guy, next week a girl, the following month an x? Is this a one time thing?
— larry rennock (@lrennock) December 31, 2018
You can also write any wish on the certificate and it will come true.
— Jared Haselbarth (@MediaHazeLLC) January 1, 2019
New York joins California, Washington, and Oregon in permitting a third category for birth certificates, while Washington, DC added an “X” option for drivers’ licenses.
Other countries have adopted similar measures with varying degrees of restriction – Germany requires a doctor’s note to swap genders or enter its “diverse” category, while Canada allows citizens to change legal gender at any time. Meanwhile, the entire European Union is way ahead of the game with an effort to remove all gendered language from their communications.
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