On December 19th, the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene’s Bureau of Vital Statistics held a public meeting of the NYC Gender Marker Change Advisory Board, where SRLP testified that the Board should permit fee waivers, gender self-attestation, and non-binary designations on birth certificates issued by New York City. Joining SRLP in coalition were the Peter Cicchino Youth Project and Legal Services NYC, and fellow commenters included a mother of a non-binary child, Transcend Legal, and NYCLU.
SRLP spoke on the following concerns and demands from our community: that TGNCI people should be able to update their birth certificates by self-attestation – without the need for an affirmation of a medical professional – and TGNCI people should be able to obtain fee-reduced or free birth certificates and corrections without paying the cost-prohibitive $55 fee. TGNCI people should also have the ability to obtain a birth certificate that acutely reflects who they are, including non-binary and/or gender non-conforming designations. Transgender, gender non-conforming, and non-binary people know their genders best, and there should not be any requirement for medical attestation to that effect or government control.
The Board is tasked with making recommendations to the NYC City Council over any prospective changes to the NYC Birth Certificate Policy, and we hope that they review our comments. City law, Introduction 492-A, requires the NYC Gender Marker Change Advisory Board to be composed of transgender advocates and other experts to examine the implementation and effectiveness of the new gender marker change requirement. The Advisory Board is tasked with issuing a report concerning the requirement and recommendations for changes and/or improvements, if any by Spring 2018. We hope the Board will take our comments and feedback seriously and more TGNCI people will be able to obtain, correct, and utilize a birth certificate that most reflects who they truly are!