A parent who identifies as “non-binary” requested and received a government health card for “their” child with gender marked “U,” presumably for “unknown” or “unspecified” rather than “M” or “F.”

As a non-binary person, the child’s parent, Kori Doty, asks to be referred to as “they” instead of “he” or “she,” and so the non-conforming plural pronoun usage can make a recent press release and news reporting a little difficult to navigate.

Doty, who gave birth to Searyl Atli, sports a mustache and stubble and wants the child’s gender to be undeclared on all government documents until the child has “the sense of self and command of vocabulary to tell me who they are.”

In a statement released to the press, Doty said, “I do not gender my child. It is up to Searyl to decide how they identify, when they are old enough to develop their own gender identity. I am not going to foreclose their choices based on an arbitrary assignment of gender at birth based on an inspection of their genitals.”

The child has been denied a birth certificate so far. While born in British Columbia, the birth took place outside of the medical system and so there was no “genital inspection” at birth. Currently, a birth certificate cannot be issued without that information.

Doty has sought a judicial review of the denial by the vital Statistics Agency, arguing that “requiring a gender marker on a birth certificate amounts to a violation of Searyl’s rights as a Canadian citizen to life, liberty and security of the person, to freedom of expression, and to equality under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.”

So while the government has issued a medical card with no indication of the child’s gender, a battle still looms on the status of the yet to issued birth certificate.

As a non-binary activist, Doty’s website says “their” goal is “to incite revolution through imagination and play” by:

  • Offering online learning opportunities for queer folks looking to dismantle toxic mythologies
  • Offering in person accessible learning opportunities for my community, both in the West Kootenays and across the Pacific West Coast of Turtle Island
  • Offering adult sex-ed parties
  • Being available as a coach for folks needing support through transitions (gender or otherwise)
  • Hosting my weekly radio show on harm reduction
  • Writing on my blog about any and all topics related to my love and work in the world

According to RT (Russia Today), “Some precedent on the issue has already been set in other parts of Canada: Alberta allows people to put an ‘X’ as a gender marker on birth certificates and other government documents, while Ontario offers gender-neutral health cards and driver’s licences, and plans to extend this to birth certificates next year.”

Doty’s attorney, barbara findlay (who does not use capital letters in her name), has said the issuance of a gender neutral health card will most likely serve as an important precedent in seeking a gender neutral birth certificate for the child.

The health card for Searyl is marked U instead of male or female (Gender Free ID Coalition)

Doty, along with the British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal argue that the omission of gender should apply to all government documents for everyone in BC and Canada.

Provinces including Ontario are reviewing their policies and may include a non-binary gender option on official documents in the future.

Doty believes that people who want to change their gender after in life have to go through a difficult process and instead wants a third option from birth.

They added: “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.

“Those assumptions were incorrect, and I ended up having to do a lot of adjustments since then.”

Source 1 | Source 2


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