A Canadian mother renewed a campaign against birth certificate regulations Monday, arguing that not allowing gender to remain undetermined at birth is a human rights violation.
Kori Doty, who sports a mustache and spotty beard, identifies as a non-binary transgender person and wants her daughter to remain legally gender unidentified, like she claims to be herself. Her renewed call to allow birth certificates to read “gender unknown” instead of “male” or “female” comes after Oregon and Washington, D.C. allowed license holders to mark “X” on their IDs instead of specifying a gender.
Doty, along with eight other complainants, is lobbying to change birth certificate requirements in front of the Human Rights Tribunal in British Columbia, saying that the omission of gender should apply to all government documents.
Her daughter currently has a health card from British Columbia with a “U” next to sex for “undetermined” or “unidentified,” according to The Sun.
“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 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 CBC in an interview. Doty uses the “they” pronoun to refer to both herself and her child.
The Canadian province has allowed for the baby girl’s health cards to say “undetermined” for gender, but refuses to issue her a birth certificate with the same designation.
Doty belongs to the Gender-Free ID Coalition, which has inspired her to apply for judicial review court hearing where she will demand that birth certificates do not need to identify gender.
Ontario and Alberta say they are looking at policies to include non-binary genders, but they have not yet passed any legislation.
Doty said it’s impossible to look at a baby who has just been born and determine its sex or what gender it will be, and therefore no gender should be assigned at all.
“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.”
“I want my kid to have all of the space to be the most whole and complete person that they can be,” Doty told CBC.
Doty said she will set a judicial review date in the coming months.