Parents of newborns in New York State no longer have to keep the gender assigned to their baby. It might sound strange, but the gender legally given to a baby at birth can now be changed in New York State. Times have changed and many people now identify as non-binary.
Non-binary and genderqueer are umbrella terms for gender identities that are not solely male or female—identities that are outside the gender binary. Non-binary identities fall under the transgender umbrella, since non-binary people typically identify with a gender that is different from their assigned sex, though some non-binary people do not consider themselves transgender.
The New York State Department of Health recently announced the new non-binary option not only for birth certificates, but also for marriage and death certificates for New Yorkers outside of New York City (NYC maintains its own vital records). There is now an "X" option for those who identify as another gender or non-binary.
Any New York State resident over the age of 17 can change the gender designation on their birth certificate. For any residents 16 or under, a parent or legal guardian, whose name is on the birth certificate can change the gender designation. Although a male or female gender designation will be assigned during a live birth, parents can request a new birth certificate with the amended gender on it.
State Department of Health Deputy Commissioner for Health Equity and Human Rights Johanne Morne said,
Being able to select 'X' gender on a birth, marriage or death certificate marks another historic moment in our efforts to promote equality and respect for the LGBTQ+ community. Every New Yorker needs to have identifying documents that accurately reflect who they are.
A certified copy will be provided free of charge, additional copies will cost $30. Completed applications and forms need to be mailed to:
New York State Department of Health Vital Records
P.O. Box 2602
Albany, NY 12220-2602