New York City to recognise third gender on birth certificates

New York City is set to introduce gender ‘x’ birth certificates, under plans backed by Mayor Bill de Blasio.

The city is set to approve a policy recognising a third gender category of ‘X’ alongside ‘M’ and ‘F’.

It would allow people who identify as neither male or female to gain legal recognition for their gender identity, while it would also cater to intersex babies, who a born with a mixture of male and female sex characteristics.

The proposal is set to go before the city’s Board of Health on June 5, with backing from Mayor de Blasio and out Council Speaker Cory Johnson. It will be accompanied by legislation in the city council.

Mayor Bill de Blasio (Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images)

The Mayor said: “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.

“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.”

Johnson said: “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.”

New York City Council leader Corey Johnson (Slaven Vlasic/Getty)

Dr. Mary Bassett, the city’s health commissioner, said: “Transgender New Yorkers, like everyone else, should have birth certificates that reflect their true gender identity.

“We know that being able to live your authentic gender and gender expression is critical to physical and mental health. Now more than ever, we must ensure that all people can live their best and healthiest lives.”

New York issued a third-gender birth certificate to an intersex person for the first time in 2017.

The Statue of Liberty stands in the foreground as Lower Manhattan is viewed at dusk (Drew Angerer/Getty)

Sara Kelly Keenan, who was born with male genes, female genitalia and mixed reproductive organs, was granted the certificate designating them ‘intersex’ after appealing directly to the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.

Three states, California, Oregon and Washington, already allow gender ‘X’ birth certificates under law.

Earlier this year Canada said it would recognise third gender options and let people self-identify on government surveys and forms – including the next census.

When asking about gender, future Canadian government surveys will now include an additional category where respondents can self-identify and describe their own genders.

Instead of being provided with a binary male or female options, survey respondents will now have the option to tick a third box where they are then asked how they identify.