New York City to offer third gender option on birth certificates

Danielle Fowler
Freelance Writer
New York City will now offer a third gender option on birth certificates [Photo: Getty]

Under new legislation that passed on Wednesday, New York City has given residents the option of choosing a third gender on their birth certificates.

The revolutionary bill is designed to give adults who don’t identify as male or female the choice to choose a non-binary option – allowing New Yorkers to change the gender that was originally listed on their birth certificate.

The legislation will also enable transgender residents to change the gender on their birth certificate from female to male or vice versa without a doctor’s written statement.

Parents will also be able to choose a third gender for intersex babies [Photo: Getty]

The gender listed on driving licenses is typically based on our birth certificate therefore can also be altered accordingly.

While the third gender option can also be used by parents with intersex children.

On the long-awaited legislation, New York city council speaker, Corey Johnson, said: “There are plenty of New Yorkers who don’t identify as either male or female. Gender is a spectrum for many folks. It’s not a fixed thing.”

“When you don’t have something as basic and essential as a birth certificate that identifies you as who you really are, it’s a problem.”

News of the city’s decision follows hot on the heels of fellow states California and Washington, which have also officially recognised people’s non-binary identity through birth certificates in recent months.

Germany was the first European country to legally recognise a baby as neither male or female on birth certificates back in November.

In comparison, the UK is falling behind in recognising its non-binary citizens. Although the title “Mx.” is widely accepted by organisations and businesses as an alternative for non-binary people, the government has yet to pass legislation to allow gender-neutral passports. 

Canada was the most recent to make the change while the likes of Australia, Denmark and Germany  already give residents the freedom of applying for an ‘X’ passport.


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