In A First, The United States Issues An Intersex Birth Certificate

It was the first time in the U.S. that a person has been issued a birth certificate with intersex written in the gender field. The birth certificate was for 55-year old Sara Kelly Keenan and was issued by an agency in New York.

Keenan was born with male genes and female genitals and uses female pronouns. She received the corrected birth certificate via mail last month. It is the first known birth certificate with intersex mentioned as gender in the United States. This could bring a significant change to the lives of the people born with a non-binary gender.

Every child born has to be classified either as male or female in their birth certificate, there was no provision for the intersex. With one intersex child in every 2000 children born, the issue is quite severe. It is rather simple to change a person’s gender from male to female, or vice versa, as long as necessary documents are provided to prove it, there is still now consideration for those born intersex and those who don’t identify themselves in either of the binary sexes.

Though, Keenan isn’t the first intersex person to legally fight for her correct gender identification in her documents. But she is definitely the first one to have intersex written on her birth certificate. Julien Martinez, Assistant Press Secretary of the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH), which issued the new birth certificate to Keenan, said that this case shows the agency’s intentions to adapt with the changes to accurately identify an individual’s gender.

Sara Kelly Keenan

Keenan’s case will motivate more intersex people to get the correct gender mentioned on their birth certificate. This will help improve the availability of the healthcare facilities for the people of the third gender. It will also become easier for the intersex people to gain access to essential documents.

Source: NBC News