SPOKANE, Wash.— Local LGBTQ members spoke out about the change for a third gender option on birth certificates the Washington State Department of Health proposed.
Interim executive director of the Youth Odyssey Movement, Ian Sullivan, said this would give LGBTQ youth a chance to put into writing what they already know.
"It can feel really daunting if what's on official paperwork does not match up with how you are presenting," said Sullivan, "It can be really scary, it can force people back into the closet in a lot of ways," he said.
Sullivan said this change is important for young people trying to express who they really are.
"So this opportunity, this potential change, is really setting up a chance for youth to be affirmed into the rest of their life,” said Sullivan.
The Washington State Department of Health will hold a hearing in December about the changes for gender options on birth certificates.
The DOH proposed that residents are given the opportunity to change their gender to “X” on birth certificates in August.
Gender “X” represents a non-binary term that means neither male nor female.
People can already change the gender on their birth certificates between the two choices of male or female, according to the DOH.
The proposal can be found on their website.
They asked that Washington residents email the department with comments at email@example.com.