Open house guides Calgarians in changing ID gender markers

Following the unveiling of gender-inclusive driver's licences and identity documents in Alberta, a Calgary non-profit, Skipping Stone Foundation, held an event Thursday to help guide people through the paperwork.

'Lots of paperwork and lots of boundaries to getting the care you need to just be yourself'

Levin Ifko came to the open house to get some help with the paperwork involved in changing identification gender markers. (Dave Gilson/CBC)

Following the unveiling of gender-inclusive driver's licences and identity documents in Alberta, a Calgary non-profit, Skipping Stone Foundation, held an event Thursday to help guide people through the paperwork.

The new gender option applies to documents ranging from driver's licences to birth and death certificates.

Adults can simply request a change, but those between 12 and 18 years of age require parental consent. And for people under 12, parents can choose the X on their child's behalf with a supporting letter from a medical professional.

Amelia Newbert of Skipping Stone said her group is also helping with costs for those who can't afford it, along with other services.

"It can be a pretty complicated system to navigate if you're not familiar with it," Newbert told CBC News.

"So we wanted to make it really easy and accessible and so we have people able to talk people through the process, we have a notary who has generously donated her time to be able to do that, at no cost."

Amelia Newbert of Skipping Stone says her group wants to help make the process easier. (Dave Gilson/CBC)

'Definitely needed'

Levin Ifko came to the open house to learn more.

"It's definitely needed," Ifko said.

"I am hearing a lot of 'Yes, finally, this is happening after so long.' It was really frightening. Lots of paperwork and lots of boundaries to getting the care you need to just be yourself."

Alberta is the fourth Canadian province or territory to offer the gender-marking option.

Adults can simply request a change, those between 12 and 18 years old require parental consent. And for those under 12, parents can choose the X on their child's behalf with a supporting letter from a medical professional. (Dave Gilson/CBC)

With files from Dave Gilson