Ontario issues first gender neutral birth certificate

By Grace Carr

Ontario issued its first gender neutral birth certificate Tuesday, meaning Canadian citizens living in the province of Ontario will now be able to remove gender from their certificate of birth or note whichever gender accords with their chosen identity.

“It’s a victory for me. It’s a victory for the trans community,” Joshua Ferguson said, according to The Guardian. Ferguson petitioned Ontario lawmakers in 2017 to ask the provincial government to allow transgender people to obtain new birth certificates that list the subject’s gender as “non-binary” or accords to their gender identity rather than biological gender.

Citizens can also request to have their gender removed from the certificate entirely.

“This result pleases me greatly,” said Toronto transgender activist Susan Gapka.

The amendment on birth certificates comes after Ontario allowed transgender individuals to change their driver’s licenses and health cards to accord with their gender.

Within the U.S., California in 2017 became the first state to allow citizens to change markings on their birth certificate to the gender they identify with rather than their biological gender. The state also allows transgender people to select an “X” to denote gender neutrality on driver’s licenses rather than identifying as male or female.

Oregon and Washington, D.C., followed in California’s footsteps and allow those who identify as transgender to change their driver’s licenses according to their identity.

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Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons/Michael F. Mehnert (cropped)

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