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New York City recognizes "X" gender option on birth certificates

NEW YORKNon-binary New Yorkers -- people whose gender identity doesn't fit traditional male/female definitions – can soon change their birth certificates to "X." New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio signed the bill Tuesday. It goes into effect Jan. 1.

The bill removes the requirement that residents need an affidavit from a doctor or mental health professional to change the gender on their birth certificates.

It also allows parents to choose the "X'' designation for their newborns.

New York City joins California, New Jersey, Oregon and Washington state in allowing a third gender option on birth certificates. Washington, D.C. allows gender-neutral driver licenses. Maine announced this summer that  in July 2019 a system upgrade will allow Maine driver's licenses and ID cards to be printed with three gender options -- "M", "F" or "X" -- directly on the cards.

De Blasio, a Democrat, says New Yorkers should be free to tell their government who they are - and "not the other way around."