The first question asked when people have a new baby is usually “Is it a boy or a girl?” The answer is nearly always either one or the other.
But a transgender single parent in the Canadian province of British Columbia has a different idea. When Kori Doty’s baby was born, it was outside of a traditional medical facility. So those who attended the birth didn’t do the usual inspection of the baby’s genitals to decide the gender. The baby, who was named Searyl Atli Doty, isn’t referred to as a boy or a girl.
Instead, the baby’s parent will allow the child to decide later about their gender identity.
Kori Doty identifies as gender nonconforming, meaning that their gender identity falls outside of the traditional binary choice of either male or female. That’s why this new baby was not given a gender label on their first day of life.
“It is up to Searyl to decide how they identify, when they are old enough to develop their own gender identity. I am not going to foreclose their choices based on an arbitrary assignment of gender at birth based on an inspection of their genitals.”
The difficult part of Kori’s decision comes in the form of government paperwork. In Canada, the healthcare system is nationally based. Every citizen must have a health care card in order to qualify for care. Although little Searyl was born in November, no card was sent to their address until April.
Searyl’s parent worked with the Gender-Free ID Coalition to get the card for the baby. Although no explanation was given for the delay, or for why the card was finally sent, it is notable because Searyl’s card bears the letter “U” in place of M or F for gender.
Kori and the members of the coalition see this as a big victory. Now they are turning their attention to getting the baby a legally recognized birth certificate.