In January of 2018, a rule came into effect which allows holders of Washington birth certificates and California birth certificates to choose a third gender option. This option, “Gender X,” is an important legal recognition for individuals who do not identify as female or male. Let’s take a closer look at why this change is important and what it can mean for you or your loved ones.
What Non-Binary Individuals Faced Prior to This Change
Prior to the introduction of “Gender X” on birth certificates, many individuals born in Washington or California would be required to provide proof of surgery—sensitive information the individual may not be comfortable with providing—to make this change. Not only that, but non-binary individuals whose gender wasn’t accurately reflected by the two options previously available on birth certificates faced other difficulties.
The limited choices for gender on birth certificates made the simple acts of obtaining housing or employment risky for non-binary individuals because it forced them to disclose their gender status, which made them vulnerable to discrimination or violence.
Less Confusion, More Understanding
The “Gender X” option allows for the inclusion of any gender not exclusively male or female. This includes, but is not limited to, those who identify as transgender, androgynous, bi-gender, transsexual, demi-gender and pan-gender. Because the option allows the human rights of non-binary and trans people to be acknowledged on the state level, a better understanding will be the end result, say supporters.
Widespread Adoption Likely
Currently, only California, Washington, and Idaho offer the “Gender X” option. However, many suspect that, because these three states passed their measures in under one year, that other states will soon follow suit. This is highly likely, considering current efforts to block trans individuals from serving in the military and rescind Title IX protections that prohibit sex discrimination in any federally funded education programs.
How to Change Gender on a Birth Certificate
The requirements and process for changing gender on a birth certificate depend on the state in which the certificate was issued. For example, California requires applicants to submit an affidavit to the State Registrar that includes the name and license number of the physician who can confirm clinically appropriate treatment for gender transition has taken place before they can issue the updated birth certificate.
In Washington, an updated birth certificate will be sent upon receipt of a letter sent by the applicant’s physician stating that the applicant has received appropriate clinical treatment for the purpose of gender transition. In Idaho, no medical documentation is required to update a birth certificate. If the applicant wishes to change their name and gender, however, a court order granting the name change will be required.
Lost Your Birth Certificate?
Your birth certificate contains vital information that’s necessary for public life. If your recently amended birth certificate has been lost or stolen, the best thing to do is to get it replaced as soon as possible. FastBirthCertificates can help you get your birth certificate replaced quickly and legally; find out how today.
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