World

Parent Says Baby Will Decide Its Gender

| by Michael Allen
Baby FootBaby Foot

Kori Doty, a self-identified non-binary trans parent in British Columbia, Canada, wants Doty's baby, Searyl Atli, to decide its own gender.

Doty, who sports a mustache and gave birth to the baby in November 2016, told CBC News about the legal fight to keep the baby's biological sex from being recorded in British Columbia's records:

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.

According to Doty, British Columbia officials refused to create a birth certificate lacking a gender. The province did issue a health card for the infant, which included a "U" for access to medical care.

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The "U" may mean "unassigned" or "undetermined" gender.

Doty, who is a member of the Gender-Free ID Coalition, said that a visual inspection when a baby is born cannot accurately reflect which gender a baby would choose to be later in life.

Doty compared intersex individuals, who are born with a combination of male and female genitals, to transgender or non-binary people who are born with one type of genitalia, but choose to identify differently.

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Doty said that doctors inaccurately made assumptions about Doty at birth:

When I was born, 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, and I ended up having to do a lot of adjustments since then.

Doty is one of eight people with the British Columbia Trans Alliance who have filed a complaint with the British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal to remove gender from their birth certificates.

The complainants do not think that gender should be listed on birth certificates because they believe that gender identification leads to discrimination.

According to Doty, assigning gender at birth violates a child's human rights to freely express a gender identity.

The governments gathers information on people's sex for vital statistics, but that notion doesn't fly with Doty's lawyer, barbara findlay (who doesn't use capital letters in her name): "Certainly, our culture is obsessed with [whether 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."

"I want my kid to have all of the space to be the most whole and complete person that they can be," Doty added.

Sources: CBC News (2) / Photo credit: sabianmaggy/Flickr, Racey Knight/Wikimedia Commons, Victor Victoria/Wikimedia Commons

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