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New York ID’s Will Now Have the Option of ‘X’ Gender Marker

Just in time for Pride Month, New York state residents will now be able to indicate their gender with an ‘X’ on New York driver’s licenses, learner permits, and identification cards.

Credit: Shutterstock/lev radin

Just in time for Pride Month, New York state residents will now be able to indicate their gender with an ‘X’ on New York driver’s licenses, learner permits, and identification cards.

On May 27, 2022, New York Governor Kathy Hochul announced the new policy change. The ‘X’ gender indicator will be accessible to any registering New York state resident and it will be accessible at any Department of Motor Vehicles across the state.

This policy change is in accordance with New York’s latest State Gender Recognition Act. The State Gender Recognition Act is a piece of legislation that expands and enforces various acts of protection for transgender and nonbinary people in the state.

Credit: YouTube/Eyewitness News ABC7NY

In her announcement, Governor Hochul said: “As we prepare to celebrate Pride Month in a few days, I am excited to announce this historic change that represents another victory in our fight to help ensure equality and respect for the LGBTQ+ community.”

She continued, “Every person, regardless of their gender identity or expression, deserves to have an identity document that reflects who they are. My administration remains committed to ensuring that New York is a place of value, love, and belonging for members of the LGBTQ+ community.”

The new policy also allows residents to change their existing driver’s licenses, learner permits, or identification cards, removing an ‘M’ or ‘F’ and replacing it with an ‘X’. Customers must visit the DMV in person for the rest of May and the month of June, but as of July 2022, customers can change their gender marker online.

Another dimension of the coming act applies to marriage certificates and data collection practices. In addition to the gender marker ‘X,’ New Yorkers will be able to change the names of various documentation. They will not be required to leave their dead names on these documents.

Credit: Flickr/New York National Guard

The Deputy Chief Diversity Officer of New Work, Priya Nair, said about the change “As a transgender and non-binary New Yorker, this action means that I can now get a driver’s license that better reflects my identity. It’s not only the correct gender marker, but it’s also an action that demonstrates that New York State affirms and sees me for who I am… I am proud to live in a state that will continue to fight for our communities.” 

Governor Huchal has prioritized LGBTQ+ rights and protective legislation throughout her gubernatorial career. For the 2023 New York budget, Huchal reserved $13.5 million from the Department of Health specifically for protecting and supporting the LGBTQ+ community. This more than doubles prior annual funding for LGBTQ+ Health and Human Services.

Senior attorney at Lambda Legal Carl Charles reported: “This is a significant step forward in the fight for lived equality for transgender, nonbinary, and gender non-conforming people in New York State.” Lambda Legal is an organization dedicated to preserving civil rights, specializing in LGBTQ rights.

Credit: Shutterstock/lazyllama

In 2020, Lambda Legal filed a lawsuit on this very topic. Sander Saba, a nonbinary transgender New Yorker, was pursuing a driver’s license with a gender marker of ‘X’. They already had a birth certificate with the gender marker ‘X,’ as well as a Pennsylvania driver’s license, but New York hadn’t adopted the policy yet.

“Nonbinary, transgender, and gender non-conforming New Yorkers now have access to accurate, state-issued identity documents that are critical to day-to-day life in New York,” continued Charles.

Interested in reading more about the latest news? Click here to read about how a Depop user ignited a huge controversy over their refusal to sell to red-haired people.

Written By

Makenna Dykstra (she/her) is currently pursuing her M.A. in English Literature at Tulane University in New Orleans. She writes journalism and poetry.

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