• @Tom News
  • Jul 2017

A parent’s request to exclude their child’s sex on government-issued identification.

Photos : Kidozi
By : มานี

A parent whose baby has been given a health card that does not specify a sex – believed to be a world first – has said the aim is to allow the child to discover their gender on their own. “I think we’re starting to understand that gender identity is not directly attached to genitals,” Kori Doty, a non-binary trans person who does not identify as male or female, told the Guardian in an interview. “I don’t want to put them in a box where they only get to wear pink and ruffles or they only get to wear blue and trucks. I’m just trying to leave that space open, so that when they can say who they are, that they don’t have to say ‘your guess was wrong.’” Canadian authorities have issued baby Searyl Atli a health card that does not specify male or female in what campaigners describe as a victory in the fight to have gender and sex designations omitted from government documents. Aaron Devor, chair in transgender studies at the University of Victoria, said an infant’s gender identity may not develop as expected. Assigning gender may also force intersex babies into a category in which they don’t belong. There shouldn’t be a need to identify someone by gender on their ID at all because discrimination is prohibited, he said.

“Even if it’s not being imposed on them, they will witness my friend Patsy, who is a girl, is treated this way and my friend Bobby, who is a boy, is treated that way,” Marchbank said.Efforts to do away with the male-female binary would benefit everyone, but simply offering a third option isn’t the solution. Marchbank said she knows many people who feel their gender is fluid, rather than permanently fixed as male or female, and a third option wouldn’t necessarily represent them. A third option displayed on government ID would unnecessarily “out” someone as being either transgender or intersex, putting them at risk of discrimination, said Marchbank, who works with transgender youth in Vancouver. In Ontario, gender was removed from health cards in June 2016 while driver’s licences have “X” as an option.

It’s a move Doty and other advocates for gender-free ID want to see implemented for all government documents.