A parent in Canada who is associated with “non-binary trans persons” has been in the corridors of justice fighting for “non-gender” legal documents and birth certificate to be availed for their eight-month-old baby. Many “non-binary trans persons,” even prefer the use of the pronoun “they” as it is not gender specific. In what is termed by many as a “world first,” the parent identified as Kori Doty, requested that the eight-month old baby is issued with a health card that did not state the gender of the child as being male or female. However, reports are that the authorities are yet to assign the baby a birth certificate.
The child by the name Searyl Atli has been provided with a British Columbia Health Card with a “U” instead of the conventional M for male or F for female. We are a made to believe that the “U” actually stands for Undetermined or Unspecified. However, the Ministry of Health of British Columbia’s did not reply to requests for a comment. According to a statement to the press, campaign group Gender free I.D. coalition Searyl Atli was born in British Columbia “Outside the Medical system.” Therefore, Searyl did not undergo an inspection of genitals to ascertain gender after birth. The group whose main vision as stipulated by their website is “to remove all gender/sex designations from identity documents.”
Doty who identifies as binary trans wishes the same for their child. The term non-binary, according to GLAAD, refers to a person whose identity regarding gender falls outside the traditional categories of being either Male or Female. Trans, which is a short form of the term “transgender,” is used to describe people whose identity regarding gender or sex does not match that which they were ascribed to at birth. In a statement, Doty released to the press she said, “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.”
Doty has further revealed that it has been quite hard to obtain a birth certificate for the child as authorities have still not embraced wholly to the idea of having a birth certificate for non-binary trans persons. However, they are glad that the baby has been given a health card, with the Gender Free I.D. Coalition saying it was issued one day without any explanation. An image of the Health card doing rounds on social media is believed to have been shared by the happy parents. The health card indicates that Searyl was born in November and the card was given in April.
The health cards allow for Canadian citizens’ access, and use of public health care services and facilities and they need to produce it each time they use a medical service. Canada has a general system for healthcare that is catered for by the taxes. The health cards are regulated and issued by individual Canadian provinces.
Doty explains that the wish to omit the gender designation on the baby’s Health card was in a way motivated by their own experiences. Doty said, “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 make a lot of adjustments since then.” According to the Gender Free I.D. Coalition; Doty is among the eight petitioners in a lawsuit being heard by the British Columbian Human Rights Tribunal.
The suits by the complainants were filed in a bid to seek to have the gender designation in all birth certificates and other legal documents removed. At first, Doty was even unable to receive a medical number for Searyl. Doty has thus filed a petition to have a judicial review of the decision to deny their baby a birth certificate.
Doty is backed up by the Gender Free I.D. Coalition in the suit. Their argument is that the legal requirement of a gender marker infringes the rights of the baby as a Canadian citizen to life, security, and liberty.
Is gender a physical attribute or is it a state of mind?
Should everybody have the right to pick their gender?