New York City is set to introduce a third gender category on its birth certificates with the aim of simplifying the process for transgender individuals to change their gender identity.
The historic legislation which was signed into law by New York Mayor Bill de Blasio will officially come into effect early January 2019 and is designed to favour self-identification over medical and government administrative bureaucracy.
“New Yorkers should be free to tell their government who they are, not the other way around,” explained de Blasio.
“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 LGBTQ community.”
Along with adding an “X” designation to the traditional “male” and “female,” the law will also allow individuals to self-attest their own gender identity on birth certificate applications, removing the current requirement that medical and mental health professionals first confirm an individual’s gender identity before they are permitted to amend the gender marker on their birth certificate.