A Canadian baby has become the first to receive official identification which defines them as not having a gender.
Eight-month-old Searyl Atli Doty – Sea for short – got their national health card with a “U” entered in the sex category, months into a legal battle that their parent is still fighting.
Kori Doty, a trans non-binary parent, is appealing against the Vital Statistics Agency’s decision to refuse Sea a birth certificate.
Because Sea was born outside of the medical system, there was no official genital inspection at the birth in British Columbia.
And the authority has not issued the document because Doty has not submitted a gender for Sea.
Doty is arguing that the denial by the authority, which registers all births, marriages, deaths and name changes, is a violation of Sea’s right to equal treatment and freedom of expression.
“I do not gender my child,” Doty told Rossland News.
“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.”
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Doty also told CBC that when they themselves were born, “doctors looked at my genitals and made assumptions about who I would be”.
Last month, gender expression and identity were added as protected grounds in the Canadian Human Rights Act and criminal code.
They added that “those assignments followed me and followed my identification throughout my life.
“Those assumptions were incorrect, and I ended up having to do a lot of adjustments since then.”
Doty uses the adorable hashtag “#queerspawn” to tag their child on social media.
Last week, Washington DC became the first US territory to officially recognise non-binary people on official documents, as the ‘X’ category was added to driving licenses and ID cards.
And two days ago, a similar law came into effect in Oregon.
Last month, California took a huge step towards legally recognising non-binary people.