To people outside of Canada, we’re pretty well known for being one of the first three countries in the world to legalize same-sex marriage—a huge, controversial move at the time. And now we have another victory to be proud of: Canada is the first to not assign a gender to a newborn’s health card.
Kori Doty, a parent from British Columbia who identifies as a non-binary person, is raising their (Doty’s preferred pronoun) baby Searyl Atli outside of the gender binary, too. Since last November, Doty has been campaigning to omit their baby’s gender from official records. While the province is still refusing to take the baby’s gender off their birth certificate, a small win happened when the baby’s health card was sent to them with a “U” for “Undetermined” or “Unassigned” instead of an “F” or an “M.”
While provinces like Ontario and Alberta are currently reviewing their policies to possibly include a third or non-binary option on legal documents, B.C. still only accepts male or female gender designations on birth certificates. Doty, who’s a member of the Gender-Free ID Coalition has taken matters into their own hands and has applied for a judicial review to not include a gender on baby Searyl’s birth certificate.
Doty argues that assigning gender at birth takes away a child’s human rights to express their own gender identity, which is why they, along with the Gender-Free ID Coalition and other groups, are fighting to also omit gender from driver’s licenses and passports as well.
We know that Canada still has work to do when it comes LGBTQ rights, but we admire the courage of this parent for being a pioneer and fighting for what they think is right for their kid.