This parent doesn't want their child to be subjected to same hardships that they were while growing up.
Parent Kori Doty gave birth eight months ago to a healthy baby whose sex they have not disclosed because of their refusal to assign their gender at such a young age. Doty, who identifies as a non-binary transgender person and prefers the pronoun “they,” has been fighting ever since the birth of their child to keep the sex under wraps because revealing the sex inherently assigns the gender of the baby. Since Doty had a rough time growing up when they didn’t identify with their gender, they don’t want to impose the same restrictions on their child.
“I’m raising Searyl in in such a way that until they have the sense of self and command of vocabulary to tell me who they are, I’m recognising 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 told CBC.
The baby, whose name is Searyl Atli, was recently issued a health card that had the sex marked as “U” and was sent with no explanation as to the designation. Doty believes this is meant to signify “undetermined” or “unassigned” so that the baby can have access to the universal healthcare as soon as possible. Doty, who is a member of the Gender Free I.D. Coalition, gave birth to Searyl “outside the medical system” and was not given a genital inspection after birth, likely making it impossible for healthcare officials to determine her sex.
Since the organization’s goal is to “remove all gender/sex designations from identity documents,” they’re not stopping with Searyl’s health card. Kori and the group are pushing for the baby’s sex to be omitted from their birth certificate as well, but the province of British Columbia has thus far refused. Receiving a health card without a sex was already a landmark and the first time it has been done in the country, perhaps in any country with universal healthcare, and the province initially refused to do that as well. Other provinces like Ontario and Alberta are already in the process of considering including a third, non-binary gender for their documents.
Doty is one of eight complainants in a case currently in front of the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal that is seeking to have their own birth certificates changed as well. The complainants feel that reducing the stress of living up to the presumed roles of the gender that’s on their certificate would significantly help in the development of children that wind up identifying as something other than their original sex.
“It is up to Searyl to decide how they identify, when they are old enough to develop their own gender identity,” Doty said in the statement. “I am not going to foreclose their choices based on an arbitrary assignment of gender at birth based on an inspection of their genitals.”
This case comes at a time when a gender revolution is taking place in Western nations, with many people advocating for laws that support people that change genders later on in life or non-binary people from birth. Doty’s story and the organization they are with is just one piece of a much larger picture, where people all over the world are challenging norms and demanding that more consideration be taken in order to make nations more inclusive by leaving out the specifics of sex and placing so much importance on gender. Only Searyl will be able to say who they are later on, which will make it easier for them to adjust to the role they want in life.