Do any states besides California give people the choice to identify as nonbinary on their birth certificate?
California just passed a major bill to make life easier for its gender nonbinary citizens. The state will now allow residents to identify as nonbinary on their birth certificate — which was previously only permitted with a doctor’s addiavit stating that the person had undergone gender transition treatment.
The bill, known as The Gender Recognition Act, was signed earlier this week by Governor Jerry Brown, and it marks a huge step forward for those who do not identify as male or female. It will go into full effect in 2018, and will allow those who identify as gender-neutral or intersex to request a birth certificate that includes their gender preference — making it impossible to trace an individual’s gender to what they were assigned at birth.
As A. T. Furuya, a 35-year-old advocate for transgender youth, said, "They [the government] don’t get to decide for you based on what you’re assigned at birth. Someone can go into a new job as nonbinary and have paperwork to back that up and there’s no way for the employer to know [the employee's sex at birth].
While this is a first in the U.S. for birth certificates, both Washington D.C. and Oregon (and now, California) allow individuals to have gender-neutral driver’s licenses.
The legislation offers freedom and peace of mind for those who don’t identify as male or female. And it seems the change is on the radar in other states as well. The Department of Health in Washington state is allegedly beginning “the public process to turn its decade old birth certificate gender change policy into an official rule.”
Kudos, California. The time for change is now.