New York City Adds Gender-Neutral Option X to Birth Certificates

The new law, titled Intro 954, makes it easier for transgender and non-binary people to change their legal gender.
October 17, 2018, 5:37pm
X surrounded by colorful gender equality signs

People born in New York City now have a gender-neutral option, signified by the letter X, that they can choose on their birth certificates. Intro 954, a new provision signed into law by New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio last week, makes New York City the first municipal government in the country to pass such legislation. With this new law, transgender and non-binary people will no longer need court orders or affidavits from licensed physicians or medical professionals to substantiate their gender identity before changing their legal gender.

New York City will join Oregon, California, Washington, and New Jersey as jurisdictions with similar gender-neutral options on birth certificates, but each with their own set of requirements. Intro 954 comes only four years after the city passed a law removing surgery and a legal name change as requirements for trans people hoping to change their legal gender.

"For so many folks who for so many years had to deal with documents that did not reflect their reality, I can only begin to imagine what that challenge was like," said de Blasio two days after he signed the provision into law on National Coming Out Day. "That's why Intro 954 is so important. This legislation is very clear, it says you can identify yourself as male, female, or with an X on a New York City birth certificate."

The historic law will take affect on January 1, 2019. Among its sponsors is Speaker Corey Johnson who worked in close partnership with the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene on the provision. “Today is a landmark day for our city,” said Johnson after the provision was signed into law on October 9. “New York is sending a clear message to people who are transgender, gender non-conforming and non-binary that we are here for you."