A St. John's activist who doesn't identify as either a man or a woman wants the Newfoundland and Labrador government to issue a birth certificate that reflects that.

"I applied for a new birth certificate that identifies me as non-binary," said Gemma Hickey on Wednesday, after dropping off a change of sex designation form at the vital statistics division of Service NL.

Gemma Hickey

The change-of-sex form that Hickey filed Wednesday doesn't include a 'neither' option, so the alternative 'non-binary' had to be hand-written. (Eddy Kennedy/CBC)

There are only two options on the application form — male and female — so Hickey had to write in an alternate choice and wait to see how the paperwork is processed.

"I'm hoping to start a process," Hickey said. "I'm not sure what will happen, but I'm keeping an open mind. It felt good to actually do this."

Hickey, 40, was born a woman and came out as gay before realizing that being transgender was an option.

"I've been on testosterone for about 14 months now and feeling great about the changes. I just had top surgery. I had my chest reconstructed in January and I'm feeling great about that, but I don't want any other surgeries," Hickey told CBC News.

"I don't want to change my name. So for me, I want to be seen as a person … Everybody deserves to be identified as they want."

Gemma Hickey

Gemma Hickey said staff at the vital statistics office were respectful, but couldn't say if the application will be approved. (Eddy Kennedy/CBC)

Hickey, who set up a foundation to help survivors of sexual abuse, was assaulted by a priest decades ago and has struggled with body image.

Walking across the island in 2015 in a 900-kilometre Hope Walk raised awareness and money to improve services for victims of abuse at religious institutions.

With files from Krissy Holmes