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New York will stop misgendering non-binary people on their death certificates

Nick Duffy December 18, 2019
Non-binary and trans people will no longer be misgendered in death

Non-binary and trans people will no longer be misgendered in death

New York City is attempting to stop misgendering of dead non-binary and trans people on their death certificates.

Under changes announced on Wednesday, the city is directing that gender identity should always be recorded on death certificates “consistent with the wishes” of the person who has died.

A release explains that a determination gender identity can be “based on knowledge of the person” or evidence from their documentation.

The new forms will include an ‘X’ gender option alongside ‘M’ and ‘F’, for New Yorkers who do not identify as male or female.

Free retrospective changes to death certificates will now also be possible, which will alleviate instances where people have been incorrectly gendered by officials.

New York death certificate change ‘means everything to many’

Praising the move, New York City Council member Carlos Menchaca said: “What might appear like a small change to some, is in fact everything to many.

“In death as in life, we want dignity and respect. This change reflects the City’s uncompromising recognition to that basic human right.”

New York is trying to stop the misgendering of non-binary and transgender people on their death certificates
New York City is trying to stop the misgendering of non-binary and transgender people on their death certificates

Out New York City Council speaker Corey Johnson also praised the move, which he said is “a valuable step to honour the identity of those who have passed.”

State ‘will honour’ wishes of non-binary people

In a release, New York’s first lady Chirlane McCray said: “All New Yorkers, regardless of their gender identity, deserve to have documents that reflect and affirm who they are.

“Today, we are sending a clear message to non-binary New Yorkers that we respect and honor their fundamental rights in every phase of life.”

Health Commissioner Dr. Oxiris Barbot said: “Reforming our institutions to reflect the identities of the people we serve is essential to being an inclusive, equity-driven agency and city.

“We can honor how non-binary individuals lived by ensuring their death records accurately reflect their identities.”

More: death certificate, New York

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