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New York City adds 3rd gender category to birth certificates

Babies born in New York City after Jan. 1, 2019 won’t need to choose male or female on their birth certificate.

Mayor Bill de Blasio signed a piece of legislation into law on Tuesday that creates a third gender category on New York City birth certificates.

<who>Photo Credit: City of New York

Not only will it allow people born in the City to update their gender marker to male, female or X, they’ll also be able to do so without a note or approval from a health care provider.

“New Yorkers should be free to tell their government who they are, not the other way around,” said 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.”

<who>Photo Credit: Acting Commissioner Oxiris Barbot

With the new law, New York City joins jurisdictions across the United States and world in adding an “X” gender option to official government documents.

That includes Oregon, Washington, California, New Jersey, Germany, New Zealand, Pakistan and, of course, Canada.


“This legislation is a historic and vital step forward for our city and country,” said Ashe McGovern, director of the NYC Unity Project.

“As a non-binary trans person, I intimately understand the discrimination our communities face as a result of mismatched or inaccurate identity documents.”

McGovern said the move shows that the City sees, hears and deeply supports the LGBTQ community’s fundamental right to self-determination.



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