People in New York City are now able to change their gender to 'X'
People living in New York City can now change the gender on their birth certificates to 'X'.
A new bill, passed and signed by New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio in October, adds the Big Apple to the growing list of US states and cities to offer residents a third gender option.
The change, which took effect on New Year's Day, means that residents are able to make the alteration without a note from a medical professional. In addition, it allows parents to assign newborn babies with gender 'X'.
Other American states that offer this option include California, Washington and Oregon, with similar legislation set to take effect in New Jersey on February 1. Washington, D.C. also allows for the designation on driver’s licenses.
Speaking after the bill was passed, de Blasio, claimed it reflected that New York City is "a place where everyone can belong".
"Should everyone be able to tell their government who they are and not the other way around? That's why this is so important," he said. "One thing that New York City is really good at is being a place for everyone. One of the things we are renowned for all over the world is [that] it's a place where we can all belong."
He continued to tell New Yorkers to "live their truth", stating: "So many folks for so many years had to deal with documents that did not reflect their reality. I can only begin to imagine what that challenge was like, what that pain was like. That's why Intro 954 is so important.
"In this city, which has been the wellspring of the movement for equality for so long, the home of Stonewall and the modern LGBTQ movement, it is fitting that we lead the way here again.
"To anyone who feels they have been misunderstood or ignored or mistreated, because of their choice of their own identity, a simple message - you be you. Live your truth, and know that New York City will have your back."
Corey Johnson, New York city council speaker, has also previously spoken out on the matter, claiming that there are plenty of New Yorkers who "don’t identify as either male or female."
"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," he said. "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."
He added that the city was sending an important message of acceptance, amid a spike in violence against transgender people, claiming: "It gives that individual a level of internal comfort, a level of safety that they’re going to be OK when they’re in average, everyday situations not to be harassed and not to be questioned."