Two-spirit, transgender and gender-diverse people can now change gender designations on B.C. government ID without the confirmation of a physician or psychologist.
The change applies to BC Services Cards, B.C. driver’s licences, BCID cards and B.C. birth certificates and came into effect Jan 10, according to a media release from the province.
“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.”
Adults who want to change their gender designations will need to complete an Application for Change of Gender Designation, which includes a self-declaration. Those under 19 will also need to provide proof of parent and/or guardian support.
The Ministry of Health, Ministry of Citizens’ Services and the ICBC worked together to implement this change, according to the province.
“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.”
A third gender designation option, an X gender marker, on provincial government-issued identification documents came into effect in November 2018.
Trans Care BC defines transgender, or trans, as an umbrella term that describes a wide range of people whose gender differs from their assigned sex at birth. In B.C., an estimated 46,000 (1 per cent) of people identify as trans or gender diverse.