Over the past two years, more than 700 New Yorkers have changed the gender listed on their birth certificate, city officials announced this week.
Before January 2015, a person seeking to change his or her gender on a New York City birth certificate was required to have undergo sex-change surgery and changed names. The new rules removed those stipulations, requiring only the approval of a licensed medical or mental-health provider.
And in December 2016, the city also allowed people to list their gender as “intersex” as long as they provide “appropriate documentary evidence from a U.S.-licensed doctor.” The first such designation was issued to a 55-year-old individual who had female genitalia, male chromosomes and a combination of male and female internal reproductive organs.
Since 2015, 731 people changed the gender listed on their New York City birth certificate, including 41 minors, who required parental consent. Their ages ranged from five to 76, and male-to-female changes accounted for the slight majority, at 55 percent.
Before the new rules took effect, only about 20 New Yorkers annually managed to change their listed gender.
“As a cascade of anti-transgender legislation begins to sweep across the nation, it is more important than ever that transgender people have access to accurate identification in order to open access to employment, school, travel and banking,” said Carrie Davis, a city official who advised the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene on gender marker changes.