SLOCAN VALLEY, B.C. — A woman in British Columbia who identifies as “gender neutral” is asking the government to exclude sex information from her baby’s birth certificate so the child can decide later in life what he or she wants to be.
Kori Doty, who sports both earrings and facial hair, gave birth in November to a child that she named Searyl Atli. The baby was born at a friend’s home instead of the hospital, and Doty has not made known whether the baby is a boy or girl as she doesn’t wish to say either way.
“When I was born, assumptions were made, and I don’t want to make those same assumptions,” she told radio station CKNW. “I was assigned a gender at birth, and since I’ve grown up, I’ve discovered and learned that was incorrect.”
Doty said that she just wants the child to eventually make up their own mind about how they identify as “I’m not going to jump to any conclusions because of what is in their pants.” She believes that the psychological aspect of gender differs from the biological aspect.
Therefore, when Doty is out in public with Searyl and people ask what the baby is, she will reply that she doesn’t know yet.
“I’m raising Searyl in such a way that until they have the sense of self and command of vocabulary to tell me who they are,” she told CBC News. “I’m recognizing 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 is involved with the Gender Free ID Coalition, whose motto is “The state has no business in the undies of the nation.” The group seeks to have sex markers removed from birth certificates altogether.
“[N]o one knows a baby’s gender at birth since gender identity takes years to be known,” the Coalition claims on its website. “The state knows it is certifying as true something it cannot know to be true.”
While officials in British Columbia agreed to Doty’s request to have the child’s health card marked with a “u” next to the sex marker, likely for “unassigned” or “unknown,” they will not issue a birth certificate without the identifying information. Doty has therefore applied for judicial review of the matter.
“Certainly, our culture is obsessed with [a baby is] a boy or a girl, but the government doesn’t have any business certifying that information when they don’t know it to be true,” her attorney, barbara findlay, who desires for her name to be without capital letters, told reporters. “[W]e know that the baby’s own gender identity will not develop for some years until after they’re born.”
In addition to seeking to have Searyl’s birth certificate genderless, Doty is also a part of a case before the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal as she wants her own birth certificate adjusted to remove any sex markings.
Word of the matter has generated a variety of public reaction, including much dismay.
“God decides the gender of a baby at conception, when life begins. We have no right to mess with that,” one commenter wrote.
“This mentally challenged person is going to pass off her sicknesses to this innocent child,” another remarked. “The government should NOT buy into this madness.”
“Doty, if you conceived and gave birth to the child, then NO amount of wishing or operations or procedures or [how much] politically correct support you get [will change the fact that] your DNA says you are female. It will NEVER change,” a third noted.