Washington State Adds Third Gender Option On Birth Certificates

"It is vital that states catch up and acknowledge the reality of the non-binary community."

Beginning this month, Washington State will let residents change the gender markers on birth certificates to a third option.

The new policy defines “X” as “a gender that is not exclusively male or female, including, but not limited to, intersex, agender, amalgagender, androgynous, bigender, demigender, female-to-male, genderfluid, genderqueer, male-to-female, neutrois, nonbinary, pangender, third sex, transgender, transsexual, Two Spirit, and unspecified.”

The law also streamlines the process of updating certain gender markers on existing documents and removes the requirement of a doctor’s letter for adults wishing to change their legal gender.

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The new policy is a step in the right direction toward recognition for the trans and nonbinary community, says GLAAD CEO Sarah Kate Ellis.

“It is vital that states catch up and acknowledge the reality of the non-binary community,” she told CNN.

Last June, Oregon became the first state to offer any nonbinary designation on driver’s licenses and state-issued ID cards. Washington D.C. followed suit, offering gender-neutral driver’s licenses and state IDs.

Likewise, California policymakers announced the Gender Recognition Act in October 2017, which will allow trans and gender-nonconforming Californians to identify as nonbinary on legal documents, including birth certificates.

Across the pond, German lawmakers just announced legal recognition of a third gender on birth certificates for children who are born intersex.

Samantha Manzella is a writer and copy editor based out of the Hudson Valley. You can find her writing in a coffeehouse or searching Insta for the latest tattoo artist to hit the scene.
@slmjournalist