New York No Longer Requires “Proof Of Surgery” To Change Sex On Birth Certificate

Gubernatorial candidate Andrew Cuomo victory celebrationNew York Governor Andrew Cuomo marked a huge step forward for transgender rights this week, announcing that trans men and women born in New York state would no longer need proof of sex-reassignment surgery in order to change the sex listed on their birth certificates.

LGBT rights groups like Empire State Pride Agenda have been lobbying for the change for several years, arguing that the state’s “proof of sex” requirement was discriminatory toward transgender people, and that an incorrect gender marker on a birth certificate can hinder or embarrass a trans person who cannot afford or does not want transitional surgeries.

The new policy will affect the entire state except for New York City, which issues and keeps its own birth certificates. Under the new policy, trans people will still need to prove that they are transgender:

A transgender person will still need to provide a notarized affidavit from the doctor treating them for what the American Psychiatric Association calls gender dysphoria, previously known as gender identity disorder, in order to get their birth certificate modified.

But under the policy the doctor will no longer need to affirm that their patient has had surgery, only that they are receiving “appropriate treatment.”

The Empire State Pride Agenda notes that this is the first step in improving and strengthening anti-discrimination policies in the workplace.

“Transgender New Yorkers face discrimination everyday just trying to be who they are,” said New York Civil Liberties Union Executive Director Donna Lieberman. “We applaud the Department of Health for taking an important step toward a society where the everyday business of being yourself is easier.”

Trans people in New York City are still required to provide “proof of surgery” if they wish to change the gender marker on their birth certificate, though a recent lawsuit filed against the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene is determined to change that.

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  • gskorich

    this is crazy. the whole transgender community has lost sight of reality. women calling themselves men because they chop off their breasts and take testosterone and men having breasts added and taking estrogen but everyone keeping their bottom bits because they aren’t happy with the process. anyone can now call themselves any gender they want regardless of what phase they are in their transformation or in some cases no transformation. we need to remove the T from LGBT. I’m embarrasses

  • brytta

    My niece thinks she’s a dolphin, but i don’t think they should change her birth certificate until she has a blow hole put into the back of her neck.

  • hex0


    Exactly a woman who takes testosterone doesn’t become male, they still have the bone structure of a woman, ovaries and a vagina/vulva. What this has to do with gays/lesbians is beyond me, it’s baffling how trans have taken over almost everything we’ve created. The trans are currently petitioning/harassing England’s biggest LGB charity Stonewall because it doesn’t “include” them (ie. spend all their money on them even though they already get free “sex reassignment surgery” on the NHS). Don’t they have their own charities, why piggyback of ours? Will polygamists try to add a P to the “LGBTQIA”?

  • TerrenM

    This is absolutely ridiculous. I agree with taking the T out of LGB’T’.

  • kernelt

    The ignorant should not speak. And the dumb should not reason. Gender is a social construct meaning it categoryies are arbitrary and based entirely on societal definement. Sex is a biological category of xx, xy, and xxy. Gender dysphoria is a permanent condition, where the individuals associate himself/herself as the other sex. Chronic delusion of being an animal or something of the like would put you in the category of abnormal psych such as schizophrenia. What’s rejected by one society is accepted by another and that include polygamy and sexuality.

  • Nowuvedoneit

    @kernelt: Then what do transgender people transition into? Some take on the physical aspect of a biological women but then what? What is their meaning of a woman if not viewed through societal norms? If they aren’t going to take on societal gender norms then what’s the point of labeling yourself as any gender? Why change a birth certificate if it means that you are every bit biologically a man, hair, beard, male sexual characteristics? Oh wait males aren’t make if they have penises because it is biologically about the different gamete sizes right? But yet those who still take hormone therapy and keep their female penises are still producing make gametes, albeit at a much lower rate, but none the less.

  • sejjo

    @gskorich: @TerrenM: Yes, by all means, let’s remove the ‘T’ out of ‘LGBT’. That way, when LGB people receive emancipation and full rights, they can continue the trend of oppressing other minorities, the same way former slaves enslaved others, or the same way African Americans voted for Prop 8 or even the same way some communities of women oppress each other. Dumb human beings never learn and repeat the same mistakes every generation because of the thoughtlessness you possess.

  • gskorich

    @hex0: the gay movement has always been about coming out of the closet and expressing ourselves openly so people will accept us for who we are. now the transacommunity is in arms if you ask anything about where they are in there transformation. they have put themselves back in the closet. this does not represent who we are in the gay community.

  • gskorich

    @sejjo: the trans community has lost site of openness and understanding. this has nothing to do with bigotry or exclusion. they are forging their own path that has nothing to do with sexuality, as i have been told many times on this board, gender has nothing to do with genitalia. well if you have a penis and have sex with a man you are gay. if you have a vagina and you have sex with a woman you are a lesbian. now the transcommity would have us believe this is not true, that a man can have a vagina and a woman can have a penis. sorry, this does not fit our agenda

  • DonW

    @gskorich: You sound exactly like the enemies of the gay community — who can’t possibly imagine that we’re wired to love members of the same sex even though our “bottom bits” don’t “fit.”

    The line between gay and transgender is fuzzier than you think. Read up on how other societies understand non-gender-conforming people — like the Native American Two-Spirits and Samoan Fa’afafine.

    I simply cannot understand why people who have been oppressed can’t have a little compassion for others, just because their particular situation is a little different. I guess it’s sort of like the irony of how Palestinians are treated in Israel, a state founded by and for a persecuted people.

    LGB’s have the same enemies as T’s. We are stronger when we stand together.

  • gskorich

    @DonW: the transcommunity has become that obnoxious little brother that causes trouble and runs back to the big brother to get him out of trouble. there are some in the transcommunity that are undoing a lot of things that the gay community has accomplished. the yard trying to force their agenda and their acceptance down peoples throats and in course are running back under the umbrella on LGBT so people assume we are backing them up. not the case. fight your fight but they are not oppressed any more, if anything the yard embraced and like a spoiled child are demeaning everything. explain 54 gender types to me or anyone you work with

  • inbama

    All those years doctors thought “male” and “female” meant the baby’s sex, but now we’re telling them they were haphazardly “assigning” the babies a gender.

    Who’d have ever imagined we could get straight people to buy into all this Gender Studies craziness?

  • Nowuvedoneit

    I think transgender people are the most gender confirming group there is.
    One point they always bring up is gender is a societal constructed term that has no meaning, but the very next thing is they are changing their bodies to match their mental identity, or saying that because they feel certain ways it’s feminine and thus are women or men. What is it that defines what is male or feminine if not society?

    Second point they have are an exclusive group. You can by going on the several debates go by considered fully transitioned and are better than those who haven’t transitioned. Yet those who haven’t transitioned call the other group truscum for changing their bodies to match their mental state.

    Third point is that their struggle trumps everyone else’s. Sorry but my life is not any less harder than yours has been, it’s been just as hard or even worse. True I don’t know what it’s like to be trapped in the wrong body but I also hated being Hispanic with brown eyes and brown hair. I’ve been homeless, abused, robbed twice at gunpoint, and been told many awful things.

    I’m done with my rant back to playing living life.

  • moth dust

    @gskorich: Yesterday I was sort of still in the seventies. Then some people around here helped me become more enlightened and up to date.. So now today I understand; I think.

    Here’s how it goes: a person is born, apparently, physically, let’s say, female, and documented as such by a doctor. The that person grows into adolescence, and spends a lot of time on line reading current information and diverse views about stuff like gender and sexuality, only to discover and decide “she” is truly a boy. Her awakening sexuality may tell “him” I like boys, so I must really be a gay boy! If I could reassign my body, I might, or might not, become a boy and have a boyfriend. Then as time goes by, he discovers self-attraction more to girls and concludes I am a boy who likes girls. I am not a lesbian because lesbians are girls who like girls. Although I may have a vagina because my parents and doctors won’t let me transition, or I may be unable to take the medical treatment or I may believe that God wants me to leave my body as it is; still I am a boy with a vagina who likes girls. I might hang with the the gay community depending upon how they treat me. Or I may hang with the straight community and identify as straight depending upon how they treat me. Or I may form a new community of people like me who understand and accept me.

    This is the way things are now because of the work we have all contributed to in our movement and because of the power of social media. The medical establishment plays a huge role. But most power, in my opinion, still lies with people who would lobby politicians and VOTE.

    So don’t worry. Times and terms change, but we are making forward movement if we stay OUT & PROUD and support the wonderful young people who are our future : )

  • YouGoGurl

    Who knew that my parents, my formally known as “straight female”, mother and formally known as “straight male,” father, were not really a male/female couple. I guess two lesbians conceived me. Or had I been biologically conceived by two daddies? Oh, that’s right — since gender has NOTHING to do with genitalia or bodily organs, and is only in the mind, then there can be no such thing as being lesbian or gay or even a LGB community, for that matter. Apparently, there is now only one community (or only one that claims to have any validity at all where gender is concerned) and that is the trans community. In fact, since there is no such thing as male or female bodies any longer, only what you might ‘think’ you are, that means EVERYBODY is sleeping with the same sex – or “non-sex” – regardless of anatomy! The GOP ought to have a field day trying to wrap their heads around this one (which is always fun to watch)! Even as a liberal gay, I can’t say even *I* understand it, much less give this ‘tempest in a teapot’ much, or any, credence whatsoever. While I would not tolerate discrimination based on “non-gender-conforming people,” unless you have a surgical change, you’re just dressing in a costume and trying to conform as hard as you can to the biological and societal model or sexuality. BTW, Is the sky still blue or only until *I* think it’s lime green? Then YOU have to think it’s lime green, too

  • tdx3fan

    I believe that this is a good step. I believe that this is fair.

    My only issue is when a transgendered person needs to lie about their sexuality in order to get laid or find a boyfriend/girlfriend.

    If I had sex with a transgendered guy that didn’t tell me that he was transgendered I would be disgusted by it because I like men, and I define the men I like as those that were born with a penis.

    If I was into women and ended up with a trans woman who never told me she was trans I would be disgusted by that betrayal because I would like women that were born with a vagina.

    Now, I know, according to the trans community, this makes me an insufferable bigot that should be put down.

  • feminist

    LGBT needs a new letter: M, for mentally ill. If the new dogma is that a woman can have a penis, and a man can have a vagina, then those who agree with that need to own the “M.”

    News items like this one remind one of 1984, in which the hero wonders if everyone believes two plus two equals five, does that make it true.

  • Mezaien

    @feminist: The best for you is a “catholic monastery in the Sinai” desert; You basically D.E.K.C.U.F UP mentally ill Christian! sorry NO cure.

  • BJ McFrisky

    Agreed the “T” should be removed, or at least amended to stand for “Trying to be something I’m not.”

  • Pollik

    Some of the people posting here, if they are queer, should be thoroughly ashamed of themselves.

    Ultimately, we are all fighting for the same thing, whether we black, queer, trans, disabled, poor, women…actually, pretty much everyone except white, cis, hetero men.

    I am used to the ignorant abuse from certain brands of feminist, but if we don’t fight on the same side, the white, cis, hetero men will win and we will all be fucked.

    Pull yourselves together and stop buying into their crap.

  • inbama

    Sounds to me like a controversy generated by Queerty editing.

    If I’m understanding correctly, the SEX can be changed if a therapist signs off that the patient is transitioning. Hard to tell as even Time is skimpy with the information, but if that’s the case, there’s nothing really controversial here. It’s not “I’m a woman because I say so.”

  • 1EqualityUSA

    Equal pay for equal work may be coming to NYC faster than the rest of the USA.

  • corvaspikenard

    @tdx3fan: “I define the men I like as those that were born with a penis”

    So you can only get turned on by imagining your sexual partners as newborns with penises?
    Then you’re a pedophile.

Comments are closed.