The gender-neutral option is here to stay as a new law in New York City now allows residents to choose the non-binary option on their birth certificate.
According to the new law which went into place on New Year’s day, residents will be offered a third gender option on birth certificates.
In addition to the options male and female, New York City residents who identify as non-binary can now choose “X” on their own birth certificates.
According to Independent UK, to make the change to a non-binary gender, one must fill out a “self-attestation form,” which states a desire to change one’s gender to reflect their “true gender identity.”
According to The Associated Press, the new law, which passed in October, also allows parents to choose the option “X” for newborns.
In the past, the city only allowed people who had undergone gender reassignment surgery to request birth certificate amendments. The law was later updated to require a doctor’s note from a medical or mental health professional, however, that requirement has also been removed under the new policy.
According to The Hill, New York City Mayor, Bill de Blasio first expressed his support for the new law upon signing, when he said:
This new legislation will empower all New Yorkers, especially our transgender and gender non-binary residents, to have birth certificates that better reflect their identity, and it furthers the City’s commitment to defending the rights of our LGBT community.
In the days leading up to the implementation of the new law, the NYC Mayor’s Office Twitter account reiterated the importance of the change in a tweet which read:
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.
The new law places New York City in the same category as California, Oregon and Washington, which are the states that offer the option of a non-gendered third option on birth certificates.
New Jersey will soon join those states as a similar legislation goes into effect on February 1.