Transgender and genderqueer people born in New York City may soon be one step closer to choosing a third gender on their birth certificates.
City Council Speaker Corey Johnson (D) plans to introduce a proposal on Thursday that would offer “X” as a gender category for people who don’t identify as female or male, The Associated Press reported.
“This is about making it easier for people to be who they truly are and letting them know that New York City understands them and has their backs,” Johnson told the AP.
The “X” category would be available for adults who want to affirm their gender identity on their birth certificates. Parents of newborns can write that their child’s sex is undetermined or unknown if they don’t want to identify a sex on the document.
“Pride Month is a time to celebrate how far we’ve come in the fight for equality, and re-affirm our commitment to protecting all New Yorkers from discrimination,” New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) said. “This proposal will allow transgender and gender non-conforming New Yorkers to live with the dignity and respect they deserve, and make our City fairer.”
This proposal could be monumental for trans and other gender nonconforming people, said Eliel Cruz, communications director for LGBTQ rights organization the Anti-Violence Project.
“Allowing gender nonconforming and non-binary New Yorkers mark X on their birth certificates is an important first step in protecting and ending violence against them,” Cruz said. “When non-binary people are forced to identify as either man or woman, it is dehumanizing and harmful towards them. Gender is expansive and the X marker on the birth certificate recognizes that.”
Oregon, Washington state and California offer a third gender option on birth certificates; Washington, D.C., gives a third option on driver’s licenses.
This article has been updated with comment from Cruz.
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