An eight-month-old Canadian baby has been issued a health card that does not specify the child’s sex, in what could be a world first.
It has been done at the request of parent Kori Doty, a non-binary transgender parent who identifies as neither male nor female.
The baby, named Searyl Atli, has been issued with a British Columbia health card with a “U” in the space where a child’s sex is normally specified. It is believed “U” could stand for unspecified or undetermined.
Kori Doty also wants to omit the baby’s sex from all other official records including the birth certificate.
“I’m 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 recognising 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 CBC news.
It is believed British Columbia is the first public authority to issue a non gender-specific card in this way. At least two other Canadian provinces – Ontario and Alberta, are now also considering offering the option of documents with a third non-binary category.
Canada, along with Pakistan, Nepal and Australia, is also working on designing passports a new gender designation.
Doty, who is a member of a group called the Gender-Free Coalition, wants individuals to have the right to strip gender identification from all government documents.
Doty is one of eight people to have brought a case before British Columbia’s Human Rights Tribunal demanding the right to change their own birth certificates.
“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.
Doty argues that people who reassign their genders later in life would be spared stress if their sex was not specified at birth.