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The Tongva Times

The Tongva Times

The Tongva Times

Recognizing the non-binary

    By Kevin Pham

    Staff Writer

    On Jan. 1, the New York City Council and Board of Health will include a new gender category, “X”, on birth certificates. The new option will allow those born in New York City who do not identify as male or female to change their gender identity when and after they reach the age of 18.

      The city follows the precedent of California, Idaho, Oregon, and Washington as they have previously passed bills that allow citizens to change their gender marker. Come February, New Jersey will be added to this list of states.

      According to Scientific American, the “X” gender include all individuals who do not identify themselves as traditionally male or female, rather, they are transgender, gender fluid, non-binary, or gender nonconforming.

      The new legislation recognizes that “although sex is often considered a black and white state of affairs, […] sex should be considered a continuum as opposed to two mutually exclusive categories,” as noted by gender positivity organization Gender Spectrum.

      The policy was first introduced by New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and New York City Council Speaker Corey Johnson in June 2018 and was voted in by September.

      De Blasio stated, “[this law will] allow transgender and gender nonconforming New Yorkers to live with the dignity and respect they deserve.” He later added on Twitter, “to all trans and nonbinary New Yorkers: We see you, hear you, and respect you.”

      Prior to this policy, New York City required doctors to approve the birth certificate change before one’s gender marker could be revised. Before 2014, one can only request a gender marker change after gender reassignment surgery.

      The barriers that were set by the gender reassignment requirement that existed until 2014 made it difficult for residents that could not afford the procedure which “can cost more than $100,000,” reports Time Magazine.

      After 2014, non-binary and transgender citizens still had to request an affidavit from their primary doctor permitting the gender marker change on their birth certificates.

      Now, New York City born residents who wish to change their marker can apply for the request themselves. All they need to do is fill out an online form stating their preferred gender marker.

      “Today is a historic day for New York in its role as a worldwide champion for inclusivity and equality,” Johnson stated.”[Our work] on this issue to keeps New York City in its rightful place as a leader in human rights.”



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    Recognizing the non-binary