Revisions Likely in Birth Certificate Policy
Spurred by a 2002 city law forbidding discrimination based on gender identity and expression and reform sought by gender rights advocates, the city's Department of Health and Mental Hygiene is considering an amendment to the policy governing changes to a birth certificate, making it possible for transgendered people born in New York to alter the gender designated on the form.
However, in testimony before the Board of Health on Monday, advocates agreed in recommending a number of significant changes to the amendment currently under discussion, and some maintained that the overall approach contemplated is inappropriately based on what they termed a "medical model" inconsistent with an emerging ethos of gender self-identification.
Everyone who testified at the Monday hearing, however, agreed that revision in the current city policy is long overdue and congratulated the health department on its work in moving toward reform.
Intersex Produced by: Dheera Sujan
A group of women talk of their experiences with a rare condition - intersexuality. They are women who have the male XY chromosome. One was forcibly raised as a boy. One only found out about her condition accidentally when she was a teenager. And one was kept in the dark about it deliberately by doctors. About one baby in 20,000 infants is born intersex. Often these infants can be clearly seen to belong to one sex, but a small percentage of them are born with ambiguous genitalia and in the past, doctors made a unilateral decision about which sex they thought the child belonged to. Sometimes they even performed surgery without properly consulting or informing the parents. That practice has been banned in the Netherlands but although medical personnel and lay people are more open to variations in sexuality these days, people with an intersex condition still find the subject very difficult to bring up. This program was produced by Dheera Sujan of Radio Netherlands and airs as part of our international documentary exchange series, Crossing Boundaries.