'X' marks the spot with new gender-neutral option on government ID

British Columbians who don’t identify as male or female now have the choice to display an X in the gender field of their B.C. driver’s licence, identity card, birth certificate and BC Services Card

Third choice for those who don’t identify as male or female

Sample of a B.C. driver's licence. As of Nov. 1, 2018 a gender-neutral option will be offered on government ID. (Government of B.C.)

British Columbians who don't identify as either male or female now have the choice to display an X in the gender field of their B.C. driver's licence, identity card, birth certificate and BC Services Card.

"Since last summer, we have been working on changes to government documents in recognition and respect of people who do not identify as male or female," said health minister Adrian Dix, in a media release.

"Including the X gender designation on key ID is an important step in this," he said.

The ministries of Health, Citizens' Services and Attorney General worked together to get the X designation option.

"We are taking action to move British Columbia into the 21st century when it comes to gender identity," said Jinny Sims, minister of Citizens' Services. "It is the right thing to do."

Kori Doty identifies as neither male nor female, and wants their child to be able to do the same. (Skype)

In June 2017, a parent in Slocan Valley was fighting to omit their child's sex on their birth certificate, as part of a broader effort to keep gender from being included on government documents.

Kori Doty, a non-binary trans parent who doesn't identify as either male or female, (and prefers to use the pronoun they), applied for a judicial review to keep the child's gender off all official records.

A few months later, in August 2017, the federal government introduced the X option on Canadian passports.

"The lack of an alternative for those who do not identify with the male or female designation has previously resulted in cases that were being considered at the Human Rights Tribunal," said attorney general David Eby.

"This change is a step in the right direction to promote inclusivity for all people in British Columbia," he said.

Ontario, Alberta and the Northwest Territories have already introduced the X option on government-issued ID.