N.W.T. residents can now choose 'X' as gender on IDs

N.W.T. residents can now choose 'X' as gender on IDs

People in the Northwest Territories will now be able to choose "X" in the sex section of driver's licences and identification cards.

The IDs, issued by the Department of Infrastructure, are "inclusive and respectful of transgender, two-spirit, intersex, and non-binary residents," the government said in a news release Monday.

"As one of the first jurisdictions in Canada to offer a third gender option on identification documents, the GNWT is committed to inclusivity and the fair treatment of all residents," Minister Wally Schumann said in the statement.

The statement says residents will have to fill out an application or renewal form at an N.W.T. issuing office to make the change. There is no fee or additional requirements.

Lane MacIntosh, president of Yellowknife's Rainbow Coalition, said in the statement that this change will impact "many lives for the better."

"To be able to hold Government issued ID that reflects and respects the individual which it identifies is so valuable. Being able to have an X on my ID gives me the respect and autonomy I deserve," MacIntosh said.

"While there is still a long way to go as far as rights and inclusion is concerned, this is a great step forward for the GNWT."

The statement points out that the territorial government has no authority over how other organizations or jurisdictions will accept the X option.

Back in July, changes to the territory's Vital Statistics Act gave residents the option to have birth certificates and birth registration forms amended to the gender marker of his, her or their choosing without gender reassignment surgery.