Canadian Province Makes Monumental Change Towards Gender Identity
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Canadian Province Makes Monumental Change Towards Gender Identity

Improving gender designation process for people in B.C.

Two-spirit, transgender and gender-diverse people in British Columbia are able to change gender designations on the BC Services Card, B.C. driver’s licence, BCID card and B.C. birth certificate without the confirmation of a physician or psychologist.

This action, which came into effect on Jan. 10, 2022, stems from initial progress made when B.C. was the first jurisdiction in Canada to revise its legislation to remove the requirement for surgery before an individual can change the gender on their birth certificate.

“Moving to a non-medical model of gender identification will reduce a real barrier that two-spirit, transgender, non-binary and other gender-diverse people in the province face when trying to change their identification documents,” said Grace Lore, Parliamentary Secretary for Gender Equity. “Each individual knows their own gender best, and today, I am proud that our government is recognizing this by taking landmark action.”

The Ministry of Health, Ministry of Citizens’ Services and the Insurance Corporation of BC have worked together to implement this change. 

“Our government is committed to advancing equity for two-spirit, transgender and gender-diverse people,” said Adrian Dix, Minister of Health. “This announcement will make it easier for people to have their true genders reflected on their B.C. identification documents. We will continue our work toward creating a health-care system that works for everyone.”

Adults wanting to change their gender designations will be required to complete an Application for Change of Gender Designation, which includes a self-declaration. People under 19 will also need to provide proof of parent and/or guardian support.

“Today’s announcement builds on the 2018 implementation of the X gender marker, where we added a third gender option for government ID,” said Lisa Beare, Minister of Citizens’ Services.“By removing the medical requirement for a change of gender designation, this is part of our continued commitment to making this government, its services and the province increasingly accessible for people of all genders.”

A third gender designation option, an X gender marker, on provincial government-issued identification documents came into effect on Nov. 1, 2018.

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