The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.
Canadian parent Kori Doty, who identifies as a “non-binary trans person,” is fighting to make newborn baby Searyl Atli the first to be registered as “gender unknown.” Doty wants to allow Searyl to decide his or her sex, CBC News reported.
Doty identifies as neither male nor female, preferring the pronoun “they,” and wants Searyl, whose sex has not been entered into any government records, to have the same option. Doty gave birth to Searyl at a friend’s home last November.
“I’m raising Searyl in such a way that until they have the sense of self and command of vocabulary to tell me who they are, I’m recognizing them as a baby and trying to give them all the love and support to be the most whole person that they can be outside of the restrictions that come with the boy box and the girl box,” Doty said.
So far, Doty said British Columbia is refusing to issue Searyl a birth certificate with no sex listed. The province has, however, issued the child’s health cards with a “U” for “undetermined” or “unassigned,” so Searyl would have access to medical services.
Doty’s lawyer, barbara findley, who refuses to spell her name with capital letters, said British Columbia allows for only male and female designations on birth certificates.
The British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal is aiding Doty in the fight to get all government documents to accommodate those who claim to be neither male nor female.
“When I was born,” Doty explained, “doctors looked at my genitals and made assumptions about who I would be, and those assignments followed me and followed my identification throughout my life.
“Those assumptions were incorrect,” she continued, “and I ended up having to do a lot of adjustments since then.”
Doty believes “assigning” a child’s sex at birth is a human rights violation, taking away the freedom to decide one’s own sexual identity.
According to findley, the government does not need to know the child’s sex.
“Certainly, our culture is obsessed with [if a baby is] a boy or a girl, but the government doesn’t have any business certifying that information when they don’t know it to be true,” findley said.
It is important, Doty noted, for Searyl “to have all of the space to be the most whole and complete person that they can be.”
The British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal is also fighting to extend the right to leave the child’s sex off of every legal document, including a driver’s license and passport.
“People always ask, ‘Is your baby a boy or a girl?’ I don’t know yet,” Doty said. “I’m waiting to get to know them more.”
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