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Canadian Baby Makes History

Infant has been issued a health card that does not specify the child’s sex…


A baby in British Columbia has made history after being issued what could be the world’s first healthcare card that doesn’t specify a male or female gender.


The baby, Searyl Atli Doty, was born at home in November 2016 to Kori Doty, a non-binary trans person who uses the pronoun ‘they’ to self-identify. Doty’s own personal experience led to the decision to allow the baby to decide their own gender later in life.


“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 this summer.


“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 British Columbia has refused to issue a birth certificate without a gender included on it, but the Canadian government recently sent a health card with the letter “U” for gender, possibly meaning “undetermined” or “unassigned.” Doty is now fighting for a similarly marked birth certificate.


It is believed Canada is the first public authority to issue a non-gender-specific card in this way. At least two Canadian provinces— Ontario and Alberta—are considering offering the option of having documents with a third non-binary category.


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. Canada, along with Pakistan, Nepal and Australia, is also working on designing passports with a new gender designation.

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