Maintaining its reputation for cutting-edge social reform, New York City is soon to allow people to alter the sex on their birth certificate without sex-change surgery. Applicants will have to change their names and show that they have lived in a new gender for at least two years, but they will not be required to undergo a medical check.
The New York Times says that, “It is an outgrowth of the transgender community’s push to recognise 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.”
The Big Apple has already moved to accommodate transsexuals. Beds in city shelters can be allocated according to appearance and people are allowed to self-define their gender when choosing which subway toilet to use.
A lawyer for the New York Transgender Rights Organization, Joann Prinzivalli, praised the move. Gender identity is based “on an arbitrary distinction that says there are two and only two sexes,” he/she said. “In reality the diversity of nature is such that there are more than just two, and people who seem to belong to one of the designated sexes may really belong to the other.”
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