More than 2,000 state-issued ID cards with gender ‘X’ in first year


After New York included “X” as an option for gender for state-issued IDs, the state reports 2,476 licenses had been issued with that selection one year after its start.

The news was announced Thursday to mark the start of Pride Month, which is recognized in June. In contrast, the state Department of Vehicle reports there were more than 300,000 new driver’s licenses issued in total during the same period. 

The added gender marker was required by the state’s Gender Recognition Act, which passed in 2021 and was signed by then-Gov. Andrew Cuomo. The legislation was sponsored by Assemblyman Daniel O’Donnell and state Sen. Brad Hoylman-Sigal, two openly gay Democrats who represent Manhattan. O’Donnell was the first openly gay man elected to the Assembly and sponsored the 2011 landmark legislation that made same-sex marriage legal in New York. 

“Today represents a milestone in our fight to secure LGBTQ rights,” O’Donnell wrote in a statement following the bil’s signing. “When I first joined the Assembly, LGBTQ people could not marry the person they loved; were not yet protected from workplace discrimination; and still faced the risk of conversion therapy. New Yorkers could even use sexual orientation and gender expression as a legal justification for the murder of gay and trans people. In the past decade we have changed all of that.”

Gov. Kathy Hochul first unrolled the program in August 2022. 

As states around the country consider legislation designed to attack and demonize the LGBTQIA+ community, I want New Yorkers to know that I am committed to keeping our state a place where all people, regardless of their gender identity or expression, can belong and thrive,” the Democrat said in a statement. 

It allows New Yorkers with existing driver’s licenses, learner permits or non-driver IDs to change the gender marker on their photo IDs with an online transaction. It also allows the gender “X” as an option for new state-issued IDs. 

“One of the moments I treasure most from my time as Commissioner is the day I handed out the first Gender ‘X’ licenses and IDs to New Yorkers,” state Department of Motor Vehicles Commissioner Mark Schroeder said in a statement. “It made the people who received them so happy to finally be able to have identity documents that correctly reflected who they are.”


Categories: -News-, News, Schenectady County

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