On Thursday the New York State Department of Health announced it will no longer require transgender New Yorkers to provide documentation of gender reassignment surgery or hormonal treatments to update the gender on their birth certificates. Before it was nixed, the requirement left those who had not met the state’s standards for physically transitioning without any viable options to obtain a birth certificate to accurately reflect their gender.
Only about a quarter of trans people have had any surgical procedures related to their transition, and many choose not to as they are costly and pose significant health risks. For those who do, the transition can take months, sometimes years, and even after transitioning, New York state required extensive medical documentation as proof deemed necessary for an updated birth certificate. The change in the policy will eliminate these burdens, and now any transgender New Yorker can change their gender on their birth certificate — unless they were born in New York City.
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