Are NY lawmakers right to pass bill allowing gender-neutral 'X' in govt. docs?
- On Thursday, June 10, 2021, New York state assembly signed a bill allowing people to mark “X” on their government documentation to define their sexual orientation.
- Andrew Ortiz, attorney at Transgender Law Center, mentioned if Governor Cuomo signs the bill, New York would join the list of 24 states offering gender-neutral markers on government documentation.
- Pride Month is celebrated every June to raise awareness and support for the individuals who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer. On June 28, 1970, the anniversary of the 1969 Stonewall Uprising was honored as the marker for change for LBGTQ persons.
- On the first of the month, President Biden issued a statement in support of the movement calling out “nearly 14 percent” of his 1,500 agency appointees as LGBTQ. He stated, “We will not rest until full equality for LGBTQ+ Americans is finally achieved and codified into law.”
- As of February 24, 2021, a Gallup report estimates 5.6% of adults in the United States identify as LGBTQ.
The state of New York's decision to identify the gender-neutral term 'x' in government documents is a significant step forward regarding inclusivity. Recognizing 'x' as an option expels a great deal of confusion from the minds of transgender people regarding their governmental gender status upon their death.
Over 1/3 of transgender people in the United States do not have access to health care. This issue within the community needs to be recognized. Transgender people are at a much higher risk of suicide, drug abuse, and general infections. These people are being grouped with the general population that lacks access to healthcare, preventing any specific problem from being pinpointed. By recognizing the disparities in the transgender community, more research can be done to analyze the root cause of these health dilemmas.
While this issue came to light during the pandemic, it will also help collect data for deaths brought on by other significant health issues. Transgender people commit suicide at a rate 40 times higher than the average person, highlighting a clear mental health concern amongst many in the community. The rule change will also promote transparency when labeling those suffering from sexually transmitted diseases.
The original system confused people who were unsure if they should be labeled as the gender they were at birth or what they have transitioned to. Now documents will contain specifications that can leave transgender people at peace with the legacy they will leave on this planet.
When it comes to something as controversial as the concept of sex vs. gender is in today's society, individual states should not take this step unless the entire country has agreed. If the majority of states accept or don't accept different documentation changes in terms of genders on government documents, this will cause confusion and administration issues between states. The federal government should be the first to accept this, and then all states should get on board at the same time.
There are a lot of uncertainties that come with something like 'gender-neutral x.' What pronouns will be used? Will law enforcement be trained in the proper way to address these individuals with gender 'x' on their licenses? Will other states make accommodations for these gender 'x' Individuals, such as recognizing the gender 'x' label if they are pulled over in another state? These are all questions that need to be answered before this should happen.
This will affect past and present documents and make some government processes, like getting a driver's license, even longer than they already are. There won't be continuity in the person's past and present government documents, which will likely cause administration issues. The bill 'also allows parents to choose the 'x' designation for their newborns,' which is a strange right to give parents. Why should they be able to choose the gender of their child before it can even speak? It makes more sense to put the child's biological sex on their birth certificate, which is needed for medical assistance and identification.
What are individuals who identify as gender X supposed to do if they move to a new state that doesn't allow this? This bill could disrupt their lives and make the moving process even harder when they have to update documents.