The state of Washington became the third state in the United States to offer a third gender option on birth certificates.
Washington first brought up the idea of adding a third gender option in early December. The Department of Health held a hearing on 5 December, taking comments from citizens on the proposal.
On 27 December, they officially adopted the measure.
The new rule allows people to choose from three genders on their birth certificate: male, female, or X. It also outlines requirements to request a change on a birth certificate.
As the Department of Health’s website outlines, gender X is defined as: ‘intersex, agender, amalgagender, androgynous, bigender, demigender, female-to-male, genderfluid, genderqueer, male-to-female, neutrois, nonbinary, pangender, third sex, transgender, transsexual, Two Spirit, and unspecified.’
It goes into effect on 27 January.
The way of the future?
Washington joins its west coast brethren, California and Oregon, in adopting this rule.
Oregon became the first state to include a gender X option in June. However, their measure only extends to driver’s licenses and ID cards.
California followed suit in October with their Gender Recognition Act.
As three states passed measures like these in less than a year, it’s likely other states will follow suit, particularly coastal blue states. It’s a sign of progressive inclusion and ‘vital’, according to GLAAD President and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis.
Ellis told CNN: ‘With LGBTQ people and especially trans and non-binary Americans under attack daily by the Trump Administration, as evidenced by Trump’s efforts to block trans Americans from serving in the military and rescinding of Title IX protections for trans students, designation “X” is a powerful and reaffirming sign that our identities cannot and will not be erased.’