NYC Wants to Make It Easier to Change Birth Certificate Gender
November 10, 2014
The simple act of filling in a bubble asking whether I am male or female on an exam or on a job application is something that I never think twice about. But for some, answering the question “What is your sex?” brings on a flood of emotions. For many transgender people, it can be difficult to fill in a bubble that emphasizes the sex they were assigned at birth over their gender identity. Currently, if someone wants to make an official change to any documentation regarding their sex, most states require formal papers showing that he or she has or is in the process of transitioning—through surgery, hormones or a combination of the two. However, New York City has taken a step that will lift this restriction.
The New York City Council recently introduced proposals that would allow anyone wanting to officially change their sex to correspond to their gender identity on their birth certificate with documentation from any health care professional. Health care professionals can range from doctors to nurses to psychotherapists who can attest that the change more accurately represents the person. This is a huge step for the transgender community in New York City. This law would open up so many opportunities for transgender individuals who face the constant struggle of having to identify themselves as a sex that does not reflect their gender identity on any documentation.
I’m confident that it will spark a desire for change in other cities and states. These changes will hopefully prevent people in the transgender community from being targeted or harassed for having documentation that does not match their outward appearance. Some transgender teens already face these challenges when interviewing for jobs or even when applying to colleges. This proposal is a way for transgender teens in New York City to finally easily access paperwork that will match their gender identity.