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Gender 'X' is now a third option on NYC birth certificates

"New Yorkers should be free to tell their government who they are, not the other way around," Mayor de Blasio said.

Actor Asia Kate Dillon spoke at SAGE National Headquarters in Manhattan on Tuesday before New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio signed a bill that will create a third gender category, "X," on birth certificates issued by the city for those who don’t identify as male or female. (Credit: Newsday / Matthew Chayes)

New York City residents will have three gender options on their birth certificates, with the addition of “X” now official. 

The legislation to add the third gender option, signed by Mayor Bill de Blasio Tuesday, will allow adults born in the five boroughs to alter the gender originally listed on their birth certificates without a letter from a medical or mental health professional. The law takes effect in January.

“New Yorkers should be free to tell their government who they are, not the other way around,” de Blasio said in a statement. 

The “X” gender option, which will not be available at birth, is used to express a gender identity that's not exclusively male or female. 

To make the change, applicants will have to file a notarized declaration and pay a $40 “correction fee.” A parent or guardian would be responsible for taking these steps for an applicant under 18.

The bill, proposed in June, passed the City Council by a vote of 41 to 6 on Sept. 12.

“Today is a landmark day for our city,”  City Council Speaker Corey Johnson said in a statement. “I am proud of my Council colleagues, the administration, and advocates for making this a reality.”

Speaking before de Blasio signed the bill, actor Asia Kate Dillon, star of the Showtime program “Billions,” lamented how a doctor made a gender determination based on “a quick glance at my external genitalia,” which “marked me as ‘she,’ ‘her,’ ‘miss’ ‘ms.,’ even ‘ma’am.’” 

“The ability to change that ‘F’ to an ‘X’ as a way of eschewing the binary systems of male and female, and man and woman, is an essential step towards the breaking down of binary ideological systems created in order to justify and uphold social, political and economic oppression,” said Dillon, one of the first nonbinary people to star in a major American television show, who uses the pronouns “they” and “them.”

Dillon, who was born in Ithaca and not New York City, won’t be able to take advantage of the law.

With Matthew Chayes

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