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Halifax Pride board member has mixed feelings about gender option changes on provincial IDs

'Personally what I would like to see is the removing of the gender markers completely,' said Jess Smith
070419-service nova scotia

The provincial government is set to announce changes to gender options on identity documents later today, but a board member with Halifax Pride says they have mixed feelings about the new changes.

The McNeil Liberals previously announced measures giving Nova Scotians who don't exclusively identify as male or female the option of choosing 'X' on their birth certificates.

Also, anyone 16 or older is no longer required to get a statement from a health professional to change the sex indicator on their birth certificate.

Jess Smith is on the board of directors for both Halifax Pride and the Nova Scotia Rainbow Action Project, and they tell NEWS 95.7 they believe the changes will open the door to a different type of discrimination.

"I identify on my ID currently as female, however, [if] I have an X marker for my gender on my ID it's a completely different form of discrimination that's going to happen as opposed to somebody just thinking I present a little more androgynous, or you know, neutral, they're going to know that I do identify as non-binary," explains Smith.

They say they don't go far enough.

"Personally what I would like to see is the removing of the gender markers completely, that way you're not going to be essentially outing people's gender in situations where it's not necessary," says Smith.

Meantime, Suzanne Litke with the Nova Scotia Rainbow Action Project says it's been a long road getting here since first bringing a human rights complaint on a person attempting to get their gender marker changed in 2012.

Minister for Service Nova Scotia Patricia Arab will make the announcement later today at the Halifax Central Library.

Chris Halef

About the Author: Chris Halef

Chris is a reporter for and NEWS 95.7. In 2018, he won the RTDNA Dave Rogers Award for best short feature.
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