New York City residents will be able to opt for the gender-neutral marker ‘X’ on birth certificates from 2019. They can also change gender without a doctor’s affidavit.
Mayor Bill de Blasio signed the bill into a law on Tuesday (9 October) accompanied by transgender and non-binary New Yorkers.
The city becomes the fifth place in the US to offer such birth certificates. California, Oregon, Washington state and New Jersey previously introduced bills.
Significantly, residents can now change their gender to male, female or ‘x’ with a personal affidavit. The legislation removed the need for a doctor’s note.
De Blasio said the bill allowed New Yorkers to ‘tell the government who they are and not the other way around’.
‘You be you. Live your truth. And know that New York City will have your back’ he told those gathered at the ceremony.
New York City council speaker Corey Johnson said ‘not a single person came to testify against the bill’. It was originally introduced under former mayor Michael Bloomberg.
The bill New York City in 2014 allowed residents to change their gender markers on documents without surgery.
Some of New York City’s LGBTI leaders were present to mark the historic legislation.
‘This might seem like a small change, but it’s monumental for many of us’ said co-founder of NY Trans Advocacy Group, Tanya A Walker. ‘We won’t longer need a doctor to decide what we know is our identity. We won’t have to be out again and again’.
Non-binary actor Asia Kate Dillon said ‘I’m not a male nor female. I am non-binary’. ‘I was assigned female at birth, but that’s not who I am or identify now’.