A transgender, non-binary parent from Canada is petitioning local officials in an attempt to keep gender markers off their child’s birth certificate, CBC reports.
Kori Doty gave birth to Searyl Atli in November last year, but the province of British Columbia has refused to issue the child with a birth certificate unless it's stamped with either a male or female gender marker.
"I'm raising Searyl in such a way that until they have the sense of self and command of vocabulary to tell me who they are, I'm recognising them as a baby and trying to give them all the love and support to be the most whole person that they can be outside of the restrictions that come with the boy box and the girl box," Doty tells CBC.
Doty is part of the Gender-Free ID Coalition—a group that wants the government to recognise the needs of transgender, non-binary and intersex people who are forced to select either the M or F box on birth certificate, drivers licence and passport forms.
“Everybody’s gendered identification starts with a birth certificate,” the group says on their website.
“The state ascribes a sex/gender marker at birth, and then “certifies” that gender. But no one knows a baby’s gender at birth since gender identity takes years to be known.”
Doty is also one of eight complainants waiting to change their own birth certificates in a case currently before the BC Human Rights Tribunal.
“When I was born, doctors looked at my genitals and made assumptions about who I would be, and those assignments followed me and followed my identification throughout my life,” Doty says.
“Those assumptions were incorrect, and I ended up having to do a lot of adjustments since then.”
Doty is determined that gender-based assumptions will not impact their 8-month-old child’s life.
"I want my kid to have all of the space to be the most whole and complete person that they can be," Doty says.
Currently countries including Australia, India, Nepal and most recently, Pakistan offer their citizens the opportunity to apply for gender-neutral passports.
In the United States, Washington DC and Oregon have just started issuing gender-neutral drivers licences.