Trans, gender nonconforming and nonbinary New Yorkers can now choose a third gender option on their IDNYC cards, government-issued identification cards available to New York City residents, Out can report exclusively. Previously, New Yorkers outside the gender binary could either self-designate their gender or choose to opt out of declaring a gender all together. Now, those looking for a card can choose a third gender option and those who want to change the gender on their ID cards can do so at no cost.
“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,” Mayor de Blasio told Out in a statement. “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. 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.”
News about the third gender option for IDNYC holders comes only a few months after de Blasio signed a bill creating an option for a third gender — designated as “X” — on New York City birth certificates.
The move has drawn cheers from LGBTQ+ advocacy groups, as well.
"It's exciting that New Yorkers can now have an ID that reflects their authentic gender. We hope more cities and states follow NYC's lead," Nick Adams, director of transgender media & representation at GLAAD, said.
Cardholders, who do not need to submit proof of gender identity when selecting a gender designation, can use the IDNYC when getting medical care at New York City public hospitals. While that’s a very noticeable and tangible life-affirming benefit, there are other cool ones, too: cardholders get a free one-year membership to over 40 cultural institutions in NYC’s five boroughs, including the Leslie Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art, the card’s newest cultural partner. IDNYC’s website also has a longer list of cardholder benefits, which includes being able to be the primary ID used to open a bank account at several participating banks and credit unions.
Anyone above the age of 10 who can prove New York City residency is eligible for an IDNYC card. Applying for the card is free in 2019.