Canadian baby could be world’s first to be documented with no gender; will this be the norm?

[sharenow]

A baby born in Canada may the first in the world to have been issued a gender-less health document.

Born in November in British Columbia, “outside the medical system,” the infant, named Searyl Atli Doty, was not given a a genital inspection after birth,  campaign group Gender Free I.D. Coalition said in a statement, according to CNN.

The non-binary trans parent, Kori Doty, who doesn’t identify as either male or female and prefers to use the pronoun they, did not want to assign any gender to the child.

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

Gender Free I.D. Coalition, which aims “to remove all gender/sex designations from identity documents,” said the health card for the baby with the sex listed as “U” arrived one day “without explanation,” months after the child’s birth.

The Coalition considered that the “U” stood for “unspecified or unknown” and that Searyl is the first child to be documented this way.

Doty’s personal experiences were apparently the motivation to remove the gender identifier on the health card.

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

The Gender Free I.D. Coalition noted that Doty is one of a group of complainants in a case attempting to remove gender designation from all new birth certificates.

“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.

With Canada’s taxpayer-funded universal health-care system, Canadians must show a health card to access medical services.

Doty was initially unable to receive a medical number for the baby, who was also denied a birth certificate.

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[sharenow]
Frieda Powers

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