Many Americans have never heard of the term “nonbinary”, yet California will soon let citizens who identify as nonbinary change the gender marker on their birth certificate. This is a celebration for many individuals and a chance for others to learn.
Nonbinary is an umbrella term used by individuals who don’t identify with the gender “man” or “woman”. While the term is new, the gender has been around for centuries. Native Americans had people who were neither man or woman called “Two Spirits”. There are many other cultures who recognized nonbinary genders. However, when Europeans came over, these genders, and many other aspects of the these cultures were swept away.
California’s new bill will allow people who are non-binary or intersex change their gender marker much more easily than before. Previously, people who wanted to change their gender marker needed to have “treatments” in order to gain permission. This bill is a huge step for the nonbinary and intersex communities.
The bill being proposed talks about the topic in a factual way. It deals with the topic in a respectful and truthful manner.
Senate Bill No. 179 states “Transgender people may identify as female, male, or nonbinary, may or may not have been born with intersex traits, may or may not use gender-neutral pronouns, and may or may not use more specific terms to describe their genders, such as agender, genderqueer, gender fluid, Two Spirit, bigender, pangender, gender nonconforming, or gender variant. Studies show that transgender people disproportionately face discrimination, harassment, and violence in areas of life including housing, education, employment, healthcare, and law enforcement.”
The bill also discusses the treatment of transgender and nonbinary people. It deals with how people are now allowed to show their identity without undergoing surgery to accomplish this.
“Some transgender people have medically transitioned, undergoing gender affirming surgeries and hormonal treatments, while other transgender people do not choose any form of medical transition. There is no uniform set of procedures that are sought by transgender people that pursue medical transition,” Senate Bill No. 179 proclaimed.
While not everyoneon both sides of the aisle are supportive of this bill, it would help many individuals express their identities. Nonbinary people’s existences are often treated as “opinions”. The passage of this bill demonstrates major strides for the recognition of non-binary genders.