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New York offers driver's licenses with "X" gender marker


Governor Kathy Hohcul said last week that New York is now offering driver's licenses with an "X" gender identity marker.

The "X" option for licenses, learner's permits and non-driver identification cards is being implemented in conjunction with a state law approved a year ago.

Proponents of the change had argued that limiting gender identity on licenses to either male or female discriminated against nonbinary New Yorkers.

The option is open to new applicants as well as New Yorkers with existing licenses. They will have the option to change their gender marker from "M" or "F" to "X."

Hochul said that “Every person, regardless of their gender identity or expression, deserves to have an identity document that reflects who they are."

The plaintiff in a lawsuit that helped spark the change, Sander Saba, said that, "It's my sincere hope that, as we move ahead, other transgender and non-binary New Yorkers will be able to live their lives with the respect and dignity they deserve in every facet of their lives, aided by accurate state-issued identification,” said Saba. They added that, “Every person should be able to access identity documents that reflect who they truly are without having to validate their personhood in court."

This story includes reporting by the Associated Press.

Randy Gorbman is WXXI's director of news and public affairs. Randy manages the day-to-day operations of WXXI News on radio, television, and online.