For the first time in the United States, New York City issued a birth certificate reading "intersex" in the gender field.
On December 15, the city's Department of Health and Mental Hygiene corrected the original birth certificate of Sara Kelly Keenan, born in Brooklyn 55 years ago. She received it in the mail at her Santa Cruz, California, home on Tuesday.
"It was wonderful. It was the first time I saw 'intersex' in print related to my name," said Keenan, an addiction life coach. "When I applied in court, I chose 'non-binary,' because that's an umbrella term that would also include gender variant people."
"A person may amend their birth certificate to have 'intersex' reflected on their birth certificate with appropriate documentary evidence from a US-licensed doctor," said Julien A. Martinez, a spokesman for the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. "The department will continue to work with community partners as we adopt changes to more accurately reflect a person's sex."
Though Keenan had requested a term not strictly based on medical evidence, she found the city's correction "really validating."
Ultimately, the term "intersex" "carries more personal significance to me than 'non-binary,' " she said.