New York has taken the apparently revolutionary step of letting New Yorkers change their legal gender assignment without spilling blood:
Separating anatomy from what it means to be a man or a woman, New York City is moving forward with a plan to let people alter the sex on their birth certificate even if they have not had sex-change surgery.
Applicants would have to have changed their name and shown that they had lived in their adopted gender for at least two years, but there would be no explicit medical requirements.
I'd prefer that New York not track the state of anyone's genitalia, buy into a binary concept of gender, or legislate fundamental expressions of personal identity (preferences that surely qualify me as some kind of sex offender in Ohio). But as long as New York is paying attention, it seems fairly obvious that individuals should be able to decide how they are listed–and without the affidavits from doctors and mental health professionals the state will still require.
As The New York Times notes, allowing the switch should screw with restrictions on gay marriage–always a plus–and create some other interesting legal snafus. It should also leave these kids severely damaged.