DeKalb, IL — New Yorkers could soon have an option to mark their sex as “X” on driver’s licenses and birth certificates after a bill recently passed both chambers of the state legislature.
The Gender Recognition Act is designed at making it easier for transgender, nonbinary and intersex residents to update and obtain government-issued documents. The bill also orders a recent administrative change allowing minors to change the gender on their birth certificate with parental permission.
The measure is now headed to New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s desk for final approval.
New York State Senator Brad Hoylman, the only openly gay member of the New York Senate, said in a statement that “each and every New Yorker should be recognized for who they are by their government.”
“Today, it remains incredibly hard for many New Yorkers to get the identification documents they require for travel, to get a job, and even to go to school,” he said, according to them. “This bill will change that.”
LGBTQ+ advocates have said that the process of changing their names or gender markers on legal documents is costly and unnecessarily complicated. Having documents that don’t reflect a person’s current appearance or perceived gender can have effects for trans people, including employment discrimination to harassment and assault.
Hoylman said he’s “thankful for the advocates” from the trans community “for their input on this critical bill.”
“And I’m proud to live in and represent a state that respects and values the needs of these communities — particularly as queer, and especially transgender people, have come under attack in recent months across our country,” Hoylman said, according to them.