The first intersex birth certificate was issued in the U.S., and this is why it’s so important
There’s nothing better than ending the year with a story about progress. The first intersex birth certificate has been issued in the U.S., and we’re applauding this important step towards inclusion.
Sara Kelly Keenan was born with male genes, female genitalia, and mixed internal reproductive organs. 55 years later, she’s been issued an official birth certificate that reads “intersex.” Keenan’s is the first-known American birth certificate labeled “intersex” rather than male or female.
This historic decision adds to smaller social changes making a difference around the nation, from gender-neutral clothing lines to inclusive gender options in dating apps.
"Not all intersex people will choose to identify legally as intersex, and not all parents will choose to have their intersex child identified as intersex on birth documents. But for those who do, the option must exist," Keenan told NBC Out.
Keenan celebrated with an awesome Facebook post of herself in a tie-dye t-shirt that says “Intersexxy and Perfect.”
Originally after her birth, Keenan was given a female birth certificate. As a teenager, she was told that she’s “a girl who can’t make hormones,” prompting her to begin hormone replacement therapy.
“The Health Department has interpreted our gender marker rule to mean that a person may amend their birth certificate to have ‘intersex’ reflected on their birth certificate with appropriate documentary evidence from a U.S.-licensed doctor,” Department of Health and Mental Hygiene Assistant Press Secretary Julien A. Martinez said in a statement.
Keenan’s is just one story out of several. Many others are fighting for the government to recognize additional genders on official documentation.
We hope Keenan’s triumph sets a precedent going forward!