New Yorkers Get Third Gender Option

By Haneen Hameed | @haneenhameed6

Sub-edited by Jasmine Wing and Zahida Khan | @jasminew_bn @zahidak_bn

Last month, The New York City Council introduced a third gender option on birth certificates for individuals who don’t identify as either male or female.

The new legislation will allow New Yorkers to identify as ‘non-binary’ known as category ‘X’. September 12 is considered to be a remarkable day as the legislation was passed by a vote of 41 in favour and six against. New York now joins Oregon, Washington, California and New Jersey in allowing a third gender option on birth certificates.

City Council Speaker Corey Johnson, who introduced the bill in June, said it will make “New York birth certificates more inclusive for all and will send a powerful signal to the world that New York City government works for everyone.”

As a result of the bill, which takes effect on 1st January 2019, will make changing identity easier for transgenders and gender non-conformists as they no longer require a letter from a physician or an affidavit by a licensed healthcare provider.

Instead, New Yorkers will be able to submit their own affidavit requesting a gender identity change. This legislation also allows parents to select non-binary options for their newborns.
New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio has also endorsed the bill and said in a statement that the legislation will ”allow transgender and gender non-conforming New Yorkers to live with dignity and respect they deserve.”

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