New Yorkers who want their birth certificates to reflect a non-binary gender identity may now do so. The Health Department announced that the "X" option goes into effect today, January 1, 2019, adding, "Furthermore, transgender and gender non-binary New Yorkers will no longer need a letter from a physician or an affidavit signed by a licensed health care provider to change their gender on their birth certificate."
The third gender option was proposed by Mayor Bill de Blasio and City Council Speaker Corey Johnson in June, during Pride Month, and the measure was passed into law in October. De Blasio said in a statement, "Transgender and gender non-conforming New Yorkers deserve the right to choose how they identify and to live with respect and dignity."
Effective today! People born in NYC can now change the gender marker on their birth certificates to “X.” The third category makes birth certificates more inclusive to all gender identities. Here's what you need to know: https://t.co/QyaSSVK7sE pic.twitter.com/38BcxCppzs
— nycHealthy (@nycHealthy) January 1, 2019
Now, the Health Department explains, "People born in New York City can submit a notarized affidavit that attests the gender marker change is to affirm their gender identity. A sample affidavit is available online. Although sex assigned at birth is required on birth certificates, the Health Department recognizes that some people’s assigned sex may not be consistent with their gender identity. The Department already allows New Yorkers to amend the gender on their birth certificate without surgery or a name change."
"No one can tell you who you are, and only you can decide your identity. Now every New Yorker can make their own choice as to how their gender is represented on their birth certificates," said Johnson said in a statement. "I have long advocated for this gender “X” category option and I am proud that New York’s birth certificates are now as inclusive as our City. I hope everyone who chooses to change their gender marker knows that their City government has their back and supports their decision."
The Health Department says that since 2014, when the city made it easier for transgender New Yorkers to amend their birth certificates (but required documentation from licensed healthcare professionals), over 1,000 birth certificates were amended, "compared to just 20 per year in the previous four years."