In what is claimed to be a "world first," a baby born in Canada last November received a genderless government ID card. The card, issued by the British Columbia Medical Services Plan, gives residents of the Canadian province access to public medical services and other services that require proof of identification.
Searyl Atli Doty, now 8 months old, was issued an ID card in April that reads "Sex: U," which advocates believe to mean "unspecified" or "unknown."
Kori Doty, a non-binary transgender person who prefers the pronouns “they/them,” explained their decision to resist assigning their baby’s gender in a statement issued by the Gender-Free I.D. Coalition, a group that advocates for genderless government documents in Canada.
“I do not gender my child. It is up to Searyl to decide how they identify, when they are old enough to develop their own gender identity. I am not going to foreclose their choices based on an arbitrary assignment of gender at birth based on an inspection of their genitals," Doty stated.
Doty, a member of the Gender-Free I.D. Coalition, was unable to receive a genderless birth certificate for Searyl. Doty applied for judicial review of the decision, arguing that a gender marker on the baby’s birth certificate violates the baby's rights to “liberty and security of the person, to freedom of expression, and to equality under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.”
Doty is one of eight transgender and intersex complainants in a case currently in front of the British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal, in which they argue for the removal of gender markers on all new birth certificates, as well as allowing anyone with a preexisting birth certificate the ability to obtain a genderless one.
NBC Out contacted Canada's Ministry of Health and the British Columbia Medical Services Plan but did not receive an immediate response.