Individuals who were born in New York City can now change their gender to “X,” or “gender-neutral” if they don’t identify as male or female.
The “third” gender option will officially be printed on birth certificates starting January 1, 2019. A bill recently signed by New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio not only allows new parents to determine if their child will be “Gender X” but also allows residents to change their own gender.
The newly approved law comes after years of advocacy from the transgender community. In the past, citizens could change their gender on their birth certificates, but they would have to get it approved by either a doctor or a health professional. Now, they will be able to make the decision themselves.
De Blasio, a major proponent of the bill, says that it allows citizens of New York to tell the government their gender, instead of it being “the other way around.”
“This new legislation will empower all New Yorkers, especially our transgender and gender nonbinary residents, to have birth certificates that better reflect their identity, and it furthers the City’s commitment to defending the rights of our LGBTQ community,” de Blasio said after the passing of the bill.
“Everyone has a right to their own identity. Everyone has a right to be themselves. That’s why New Yorkers can now change their gender to M, F, or X on their birth certificate. To our transgender and gender non-binary neighbors, New York City sees you and has your back,” he tweeted.
Everyone has a right to their own identity. Everyone has a right to be themselves. That's why New Yorkers can now change their gender to M, F, or X on their birth certificate. To our transgender and gender non-binary neighbors, New York City sees you and has your back. pic.twitter.com/isKyClDK14
— Mayor Bill de Blasio (@NYCMayor) October 9, 2018
De Blasio’s wife, Chirlane McCray, shared her thoughts on the new legislation.
“For the first time, all New Yorkers will be able to get a birth certificate that reflects and affirms their lived reality,” she said. “We will not stop there — we strive to extend that dignity to every aspect of life. We will stand strong against any attempt to deny members of the LGBTQ community the respect or safety they deserve as fellow human beings.”
The bill went through the New York City council last month where it was approved in a 41-6 vote, which was sponsored by council Speaker Corey Johnson. Johnson described the bill as “groundbreaking” back in June when he initially proposed it to the council.
“This groundbreaking legislation will make New York City birth certificates more inclusive for all and will send a powerful signal to the world that New York City government works for everyone,” Johnson stated.
New York City is not the first to make this change to their birth certificates, as California, Oregon, Washington state and New Jersey all have added a third option on their birth certificates as well. Washington, D.C. also provides a space for gender-neutral persons on their driver’s licenses.
(H/T: Fox News)