A campaign has been launched to get rid of gender distinctions from government ID documents. A baby born in Canada may be the movement’s first success story.
Should sex or gender markers be included on government-issued IDs?
In what may be a world first, a child born in British Columbia, Canada, has been issued a health card without a sex or gender designation.
Most health cards in British Columbia are marked with an “M” for male or “F” for female.
But Searyl Doty’s health card is marked with a “U,” which likely stands for “unspecified” or “unknown.”
This may be the first sex-neutral and gender-neutral health card to be issued to an infant, reports the Gender Free I.D. Coalition (GFID), a group that advocates for the removal of sex and gender designations from government-issued identity documents.
In a recent press release, the organization included the following quote from Searyl’s parent, Kori Doty:
“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 is a nonbinary genderqueer trans person who doesn’t identify as male or female.
They are also involved in an ongoing legal battle to obtain a birth certificate for Searyl that is free of gender markers.
According to Dr. Dan Karasic, a health sciences clinical professor at the University of California, San Francisco, this case is part of a larger movement to change how governments manage identity documentation.
“I think it’s related to a broader movement to allow nonbinary legal gender identities and also make it easier for people to change their legal gender,” Karasic told Healthline. “What both of those have in common is the push to allow identification that fits with a person’s identity.”
Putting well-being at risk
Searyl was born at a friend’s home, outside the conventional medical system, and wasn’t subject to a “genital inspection.”
This is a process that medical professionals typically use to assign an infant’s gender to closely related aspects of identity.
Sex describes the physical traits associated with the categories “male” and “female,” including external genitalia, internal reproductive organs, hormones, and…