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New York starts offering a gender non-binary option on birth certificates

New York starts offering a gender non-binary option on birth certificates

NYC third gender legislation

New York City has begun offering a gender non-binary option on birth certificates.

The third-gender option, for people who do not identify as either male of female, came into effect on Tuesday (1 January) after being signed into effect by New York Mayor Bill de Blasio in October last year.

New Yorkers can now legally register change their gender to ‘X’ on their birth certificates.

In a statement, the New York Health Department said: ‘The transgender and gender non-binary New Yorkers will no longer need a letter from a physician or an affidavit signed by a licensed health care provider to change their gender on their birth certificate.’

‘New Yorkers deserve the right to choose how they identify’

The option of including a third gender on New York birth certificates was proposed by Mayor de Blasio and City Council Speaker Corey Johnson during Pride Month in June last year.

‘Transgender and gender non-conforming New Yorkers deserve the right to choose how they identify and to live with respect and dignity,’ de Blasio said in June.

The New York City Council and Board of Health voted to include a category ‘X’ on birth certificates in September last year, which was signed into law the following October.

Johnson also spoke of his support of the measure in a statement, saying:  ‘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.’

‘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.’

The numbers speak for themselves

The Health Department said that it ‘recognizes that some people’s assigned sex may not be consistent with their gender identity. The Department already allows New Yorkers to amend the gender on their birth certificate without surgery or a name change.’

Over 1,000 members of New York’s transgender community have updated their birth certificates after the option was made easier in 2014, the Gothomist reports.

This was compared to ‘just 20 per year in the previous four years’, according to the Health Department.

New Yorkers wishing to attest that the gender on their birth certicicates should be changed can submit a notarized affidavit. A sample of the affidavit form can be accessed online.