New York wants to let you change your birth certificate gender without having surgery.
From the The New York Times:
Separating anatomy from what it means to be a man or a woman, New York City is moving forward with a plan to let people alter the sex on their birth certificate even if they have not had sex-change surgery. Under the rule being considered by the city’s Board of Health, which is likely to be adopted soon, people born in the city would be able to change the documented sex on their birth certificates by providing affidavits from a doctor and a mental health professional laying out why their patients should be considered members of the opposite sex, and asserting that their proposed change would be permanent.
Applicants would have to have changed their name and shown that they had lived in their adopted gender for at least two years, but there would be no explicit medical requirements. “Surgery versus nonsurgery can be arbitrary,” said Dr. Thomas R. Frieden, the city’s health commissioner. “Somebody with a beard may have had breast-implant surgery. It’s the permanence of the transition that matters most.”
The reason for this policy is that gender identification should not be an economic issue — but having the gender-changing surgery costs tens of thousands of dollars — this policy seeks to remove that clinging Catch-22:
In New York, the proposed change comes after four years of discussion among health officials, an eight-member panel of transgender experts and vital records offices nationwide. It is an outgrowth of the transgender community’s push to recognize that some people may not have money to get a sex-change operation, while others may not feel the need to undergo the procedure and are simply defining themselves as members of the opposite sex. While it may be a radical notion elsewhere, New York City has often tolerated such blurring of the lines of gender identity.
Is gender identification merely an issue of the mind and not the body? Or is there a deeper, legalistic, concept in gender identity that must be pressed into the flesh and verified in the law?