New York City’s free identification card, marking its launch four years ago, has added a third gender for users to select.
IDNYC is available for city residents ages 10 years and up, and was designed so that populations who might not otherwise possess a valid ID can have official photo identification, such as the homeless, undocumented immigrants, the elderly, and those who have served time behind bars.
With the ID, users can get access to city buildings and services, get discounts, get a library card, and have something to show a cop if asked for identification by police. It can’t be used to buy booze, drive, or prove the right to work in the United States.
Mayor Bill de Blasio announced today that “in the fairest big city in America, we have a mandate to further our commitment to justice and access for all transgender, non-binary, and gender non-conforming New Yorkers,” so the IDNYC will reflect that.
The more than 1.25 million IDNYC users have not been required to pick male or female when applying for the card, and are also able to change genders on the card at any point without being assessed an additional fee.
Now, IDNYC applicants and current cardholders will be able to choose a third gender option, denoted as “X.”
“With an IDNYC, more of our neighbors will be able to get the services they need, and take advantage of exclusive benefits and discounts to some of our City’s most iconic landmarks and institutions,” de Blasio said. “We are sending a clear message that all New Yorkers, of all gender identities and expressions, belong and deserve to be treated with dignity and respect.”
NYC first lady Chirlane McCray, who identified as a lesbian in the 1970s before marrying de Blasio in the ’90s, said of the IDNYC change that “giving people the opportunity to indicate their gender expression is inclusive, affirming and the right thing to do.”
“All New Yorkers should be valued and respected in their interactions with government,” she said. “Dignity is central to the efforts of IDNYC.”
As of the beginning of the year, New Yorkers have been able to amend their birth certificates to change their gender designation to the third “X” option.