A eight-month-old baby has been issued an ‘unknown’ gender identity health card in British Columbia, Canada, after the child’s parent fought to raise the infant with a neutral gender.
According to the CBC, Kori Doty, who doesn’t identify as either male or female and prefers to use the pronoun they, wants to keep baby Searyl Atli’s gender off all official records.
Doty said that they are ‘raising Searyl in such a way that until they have the sense of self and command of vocabulary to tell me who they are’.
‘I’m recognizing them as a baby and trying to give them all the love and support to be the most whole person that they can be outside of the restrictions that come with the boy box and the girl box,’ Doty told the news site.
But the fight isn’t over.
Since, the child was born on last November, Doty, who is a non-binary trans parent, has been trying to get British Columbia to issue Searyl a birth certificate without a gender marker.
Despite sending the health card with a a ‘U’ for gender last month the province has so far refused it.
The ‘U’ is presumed to mean ‘undertermined’ or ‘unassigned’, according to CBC.
Doty’s lawyer said that at the moment the province’s birth certificates only accommodate a male or female gender designation.
But, there are some provinces like Ontario that are reviewing their policies to include a third, non-binary gender option on official documents.
But the problem with the third option is that those who use it could be singled out. According to Doty, they could become targets of discrimination and hate crimes.
Both, Doty and the British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal have argued that the omission of the gender should apply to all government documents for everyone in BC and Canada.
According to Doty, feeling contrary to the gender one is assigned at birth and having to then change government documents later in life, is often a difficult process.
Both the party argued about the fact that omitting any form of gender identification on government documents would reduce that stress, according to CBC.
‘When I was born, doctors looked at my genitals and made assumptions about who I would be, and those assignments followed me and followed my identification throughout my life,’ Doty said.
‘Those assumptions were incorrect, and I ended up having to do a lot of adjustments since then.’
Earlier this year, the province and the federal government passed bills to include ‘gender identity and expression’ in the Human Rights Code.