New York allows gender-neutral ‘X’ identity on state documents

·2-min read
Gender X
Gender X

The pride month is about to end but, here’s good news. The state of New York is going to add an ‘X’ gender mark in government IDs. The move comes at a crucial point in time. Almost two-thirds of transgender New Yorkers don’t have IDs with their preferred gender and name.

“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,” tweeted the official handle for the Mayor’s office.

‘X’ gender option on IDs

Gender -X
Gender -X

New Yorkers will now be able to designate their sex as male, female, or X on their government IDs. This is now applicable for birth certificates and driver’s licenses. Additionally, the law was passed by Governor Andrew Cuomo on Thursday. It will take effect in the next 180 days. Earlier in March 2020, Nonbinary New Yorkers sued the state. They argue that they were being discriminated against by not giving the ‘X’ gender option. This will help them indicate if they are intersex, nonbinary, undesignated, or other.

The supporters of the new bill including Senator Brad Holyman and Assembly member Daniel O’Donnel approved the move. “It’s too hard for transgender, gender non-conforming, non-binary, and intersex New Yorkers to obtain accurate ID documents needed to access health care, employment, travel, housing, and education,” they said.

What difference will this law make?

With this law, New Yorkers will no longer need to publish their change in name, address, birth date, or place in a newspaper. Previously, they had to place a change note in the newspaper within 60 days. Moreover, they can also ask the government t seal sex designation papers due to the risk of discrimination or violence. The law also prevents them from needing to notify immigration authorities regarding their sex change.

The change is welcome as almost two-thirds of transgender New Yorkers reported that none of their official IDs had their preferred name and gender in a 2015 survey. The survey included 1,800 New Yorkers and was associated with the National Center for Transgender Equality.

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