Thanks to a brand new law that was passed in New Jersey on February 1st, residents now have the option to change their gender from "male" or "female" to "gender-neutral" on their birth certificates.
While there are several important documents to worry about in our adults lives such as property deeds, banking statements, tax forms, etc., it seems ironic that many of us don't spent too much time, if any, worrying about the pieces of paper that prove that we were brought into this world.
But really, what need is there for a birth certificate when you're an adult? Other than for securing a passport or similar matters, the paper that has our parents' names, date and time of birth doesn't hold too much importance for several people.
But according to NBC News, some adult individuals who identify as "gender-neutral" feel that having the power to change their gender from to the new, third option on their birth certificates will lead to a better self-image and will help to foster and encourage positivity in all aspects of their lives.
To clarify, the permission the change genders on birth certificates only applies to adults. New parents do not have the ability to choose the gender-neutral option for their babies at birth when the certificates are issued. The reason for the new law is to make it easier for New Jersey residents who identify as nonbinary and transgender to have a full coordination with their gender identity.
The previous law in New Jersey stated that residents could only amend the gender that was listed on their birth certificate if a doctor would certify that the individual had undergone sex reassignment surgery. When New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy signed the new birth certificate legislation, named after Babs Siperstein, a transgender advocate, who passed away on Sunday, Feb. 4th, Murphy called the bill an "important, progressive move forward."
“Having a gender-neutral option will now give thousands of people in the state of New Jersey the power to self-identify,” said Amanda Babine, director of policy and programs at the New York Transgender Advocacy Group. “We find this choice to determine their own identity leads to an increase in well-being for the individual and a push towards creating more inclusive communities.”
New Jersey is not the first state to allow this legislation for its residents. In fact, on Feb. 1st, the Garden State became the 4th state to add the gender-neutral option on birth certificates. Other states that allow the third option are Oregon, California and Washington.
What do you think of this new legislation? Let us know in the comments!