Trans

New York City May Make Legal Sex Change Easier

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Mark & Andrea Busse/Flickr

It may soon become easier to legally change one's sex in New York City. Both the de Blasio administration and the City Council are pushing a change that would allow people to amend the sex listed on their birth certificate without having undergone gender reassignment surgery. 

Under the new proposals, individuals could request the legal change with approval from of any of a variety of health care professionals, from psychotherapists to nurse practitioners. This expert must simply testify that the change "more accurately reflects the applicant's sex" and is consistent with "contemporary expert standards regarding gender identity." From The New York Times

Officials and advocates said the policy would be among the most progressive for transgender rights around the country, easing a long-established burden for many New Yorkers wading through bureaucratic labyrinths as they seek employment, driver's licenses or pension benefits, among other things.

The U.S. State Department has allowed for passports to be changed without convertive surgery since 2010. California and Oregon have also eliminated the surgical requirement; and New York state changed its policy—with the exception New York City—in June. That same month, the American Medical Association announced its support for eliminating the surgical requirement for birth certificate sex changes.

Opponents say that regardless of someone's current gender identity or genitalia, their birth certificate is a historical document and shouldn't be changed. But this same argument could be used against amending birth certificates post sex-reassignment surgery, also, and most states now allow that. (I'm not saying that's necessarily a good argument for it, merely that it's not as radical/unprecedented as some might think.) And it's not as if the original birth documents or records are destroyed, though they are generally sealed. The basically administrative change simply allows transgender individuals to navigate more easily through official state paperwork and such.

"Your gender becomes less about your physicality and more about how you live as a human being," New York City Councilman Corey Johnson said.  

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  1. *whew* For a second there I was worried that people could just decide who and what they are without expert approval. Thanks for keeping us all safe NYC!

    1. I actually think this is awesome.

      Now look how easy it will be to become a ‘female-owned business’. Back in the old days, if you were a man, you used to have to cheat to get that designation.

    1. Yeah, check your…whatever privilege!

    2. For those of us who reproduce through mitosis, where do I stand regarding this new proposal?

    3. Heh.
      His real name was Bruce.

      Norrie May-Welby (born Bruce Norrie Watson, 23 May 1961[2]) is a Scottish-Australian transsexual person who pursued the legal status of being neither a man nor a woman, between 2010 and 2014.[3][4][5][6][7]

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_f_p0CgPeyA

      <iframe width=”854″ height=”510″ src=”//www.youtube.com/embed/_f_p0CgPeyA” allowfullscreen</iframe

      1. Do you also insist on calling Pope Francis Mr. Bergoglio?

  2. I don’t care what people perceive themselves as but I do have an issue with changing a legal document to reflect a lie. Just because you say you are female does not mean your cock disappears. If men wanna dress and act women or vise versa who am I to say otherwise ( and I don’t care) but when you allow people to misrepresent themselves on legal documents legally you are opening some doors that should remain closed.

    Forcing gay marriage on states would never lead to forcing a baker to make a cake for a gay couple would it?

    1. Just because you say you are female does not mean your cock disappears.

      Methinks it does. nsfw

      1. FUQ means without the surgery.

    2. Why the hell would a libertarian care about “legal documents”? Stop clutching at straws, bigot.

  3. It’s still illegal to change your human flavor into fruit punch, tho. Too many kiddies running around.

  4. Where did the one guy’s head go in the illustration? Equal rights for the headless (and brainless)? Should be big in DeBlasio’s constituency.

    1. Check your, ah, cephalic privilege.

  5. Finally! It was about time the city realized the folly of not allowing…

    Wait, I thought I read “New York City May Make Legal Sex Charge Easier”. So it’s change?

    Bollocks.

  6. Under the new proposals, individuals could request the legal change with approval from of any of a variety of health care professionals, from psychotherapists to nurse practitioners.

    The good news is women will finally start breaking into more traditionally male roles in society.

  7. “Yo, I’m transgendered over here! Just because I got the frank and beans, and belong to the Teamsters, don’t mean I’m a guy. I’m a female – ya got a problem wit’ that? Yeah, I like fluffy bunnies and the Oxygen network, and if ya don’t like it ya can kiss my ass.”

  8. As a trans-emperor, I’m still waiting to be acknowledged as Napoleon Bonaparte, circa 1807, before all those military setbacks.

    I simply request a 21-gun salute whenever I sail into New York harbor, is that too much to ask?

    1. And they *still* haven’t changed my birth certificate to reflect my new identity. I mean, they have my birth date a couple centuries too late – I keep telling them I was born August 15, 1769.

      1. I fully support your right to be Napoleon. I think you are out of luck on the 21-gun salutes, though.

  9. “Your gender becomes less about your physicality and more about how you live as a human being,” New York City Councilman Corey Johnson said.

    This is freakin’ awesome.

    And now that I am a proud — or do I mean “humble”? — official victim, my company is entitled to all kinds of preferential treats. Whether ordained by law, as in government contracting, or as an example of aggressive good-guy-ism in the P.R.-conscious private sector, or even as a hopeful prophylaxis against employee or shareholder lawsuits, a passel of lucrative work is reserved for those with the best-crafted claims to prior oppression.

    Now a man can *poof* become a victim over night and finally get some of that cheese.

  10. I wondered about sports – apparently, the IOC rule is that transgender individuals can compete in their own gender, but only if they have had gender reassignment surgery and at least two years of hormone therapy.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/…..18835.html

    It would be an interesting case if someone born XY and who identified as female but hadn’t begun hormone or other treatments wanted to compete in womens’ sports. My guess is that it the question might turn on whether she was dominant.

    1. Why only sports? This has fascinating implications for the victim industry writ large.

      When so much legislation and state-sanctioned goodies ride on your gender, this has the potential of blowing up in someone’s face. I’m just not sure whose yet.

      1. I think the assumption is that only “good people” will be able to certify sex changes.

        If some frat dude just announces that he’s a lesbian and wants to compete on and shower with the women’s hockey team, I’m sure someone will question his identity.

        1. So what you’re saying is it’ll take a certain amount of acting.

          1. Ah, but it’s cisnormative to believe that lesbians or anyone else “act” a certain way. It’s all 100% subjective now. So it’d be contradictory for the gender warriors to question whether the frat guy was “really” a lesbian or not.

  11. This expert must simply testify that the change “more accurately reflects the applicant’s sex” and is consistent with “contemporary expert standards regarding gender identity.”

    Oh, FFS! How, exactly, does one become a Certified Contemporary Gender Identity Expert, or whatever the proper title is?

    Now that post-racial society is here, can post-gender be far behind?

    1. I believe that this suggests the post-gender society is getting here BEFORE the post-racial society.

      To wit. All I need is to get someone to ‘sign off’ on my gender perception and wham, I’m eligible for all the goodies laid out here.

      My gender is tied to the equipment I’m born with. I suspect that it’s a lot harder for someone to suddenly declare they’re “black” when they’re clearly not by appearance.

  12. “First stage is video games. Next stage is sex change.” – my Ukrainian colleague.

  13. Under the new proposals, individuals could request the legal change with approval from of any of a variety of health care professionals, from psychotherapists to nurse practitioners. This expert must simply testify that the change “more accurately reflects the applicant’s sex” and is consistent with “contemporary expert standards regarding gender identity.”

    Q1: What is the point of changing one’s sex on one’s birth certificate, when one’s sex and one’s gender are supposed to be separate?

    Q2: What is the practical significance of changing one’s sex on one’s birth certificate, and is there a practical interest in having one’s sex accurately represented on legal documents?

    Q3: Why is an “expert” needed to change one’s sex? If gender is about self-perception, where does an expert come into the picture at all?

    1. Q2 is the big question for me. Why should sex be required on any legal documents?

      The only places where it matters is in matters of reproduction. And in those cases, biological sex makes itself quite apparent. But not everyone can or does reproduce. I don’t see how sex is legally relevant to anyone not engaged in reproduction.

      1. It’s simply about having the external world reflect your delusion true inner identity.

      2. There is Selective Service registration.

    2. Q2: What is the practical significance of changing one’s sex on one’s birth certificate, and is there a practical interest in having one’s sex accurately represented on legal documents?

      Yes. As long as society hands out goodies and treats people differently through legal structure (for better or worse), the sex on your birth certificate is of utmost importance.

  14. I’ve had a theory for a while that people ought to be able to legally change their sex, race and age. That way no one will know who to discriminate against.

    Or I could be satisfied with government simply not keeping track of or asking for anyone’s sex, race or age (for adults anyway) for any purpose.

    1. I’ve had a theory for a while that people ought to be able to legally change their sex, race and age. That way no one will know who to discriminate against.

      If by ‘discriminate against’ you mean hand out goodies, yes, I welcome the utter chaos which would ensue if everyone were allowed to write “african american woman” on their contract proposal.

  15. This is getting really frustrating. I know it looks like semantics, but meaning comes from semantics.

    Just as in gay marriage, Reason writers just can’t stay out of the trap of equating state recognition of something with the legality of that thing.

    It has been completely legal to actually change your sex in New York for, I’m sure, quite some time. Thus, this is an impossibility:

    It may soon become easier to legally change one’s sex in New York City.

    Since its completely legal now, it can’t get easier to do it legally.

    What you mean is:

    It may soon become easier to legally change one’s birth certificate to reflect a sex change in New York City.

    IOW, just as gay marriage isn’t about making it legal, but making it recognized/licensed by the state, this isn’t about making sex changes legal, but about making them recognized by the state.

    Reason staff needs to be very wary of backing into the “freedom means getting permission/recognition by the state” trap.

    1. Reason staff needs to be very wary of backing into the “freedom means getting permission/recognition by the state” trap.

      It seems we’re already here.

      The gay marriage debate I understood. The structure of marriage was about rights and privileges handed out to married couples, and therefore gay people were arguably denied them.

      If the state hands out goodies based on your marriage status, it’s a powerful argument– and in my opinion, the ONLY argument. Because if there WERE no goodies, then *poof* gay people can and always could get married.

      This sex identity thing has the potential to be similar. *poof* you’re a woman. Does that mean you also get extra points on your contract proposal to the state of New York?

  16. “Your gender becomes less about your physicality and more about how you live as a human being,” and “how you live” apparently refers to which public restroom you use. No, seriously, what does this mean? Does this mean sex stereotypes are now to be legally enforced?

    1. I’ve never understood this whole “male trapped in a female body” or vice versa thing. WTF could our “real” sex possibly refer to other than our anatomy & physiology? Everything else is a social construct. Used to be pink was for boys, blue for girls, now vice versa. Yes, there are many, many non-physiologic things that correlate with sex, as we see for instance in poll results. But how can any of those things be determinative?

  17. How about changing your racial indentification?

  18. One shouldn’t be allowed to legally change their sex unless you are born intersex. For most people, you are born either a female or male. That is an indisputable fact, it’s in your DNA. However, everyone should be allowed to live *as* either a female or male. That is a lifestyle choice.

    Allowing legal sex change is the same as allowing someone to change their ethnicity.

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