In the days leading up to a child’s birth, a lot of things weigh on parents’ minds. Is the baby going to be healthy? Will the delivery be OK? And the ultimate question: are we ready for this? And once that happens, and baby is here, there are more issues to be concerned about, from bottle or breastfeeding, disposable or cloth diapers, to co-sleep or sleep-train and what kind of car seat and stroller really is the best.
But Kori Doty had something more important to attend to: their baby’s gender. Doty, who does not identify as male or female and prefers to use the pronouns “they”/”them”/”their,” is fighting to omit their child’s sex from the birth certificate.
Eight-month-old Searyl Atli’s gender has a “U” on their health card, which stands for “unassigned” or “undetermined,” according to reports. That’s because Doty wants to raise Searyl genderless, until the baby “has a sense of self and command of vocabulary to tell me who they are.”
According to CBC, Doty wants to keep Searyl’s gender off of all official records until that day, and that’s what they’re fighting for in court.
“I’m recognizing them as a baby and trying to give them all the love and support to be the most whole person that they can be outside of the restrictions that come with the boy box and the girl box.”
According to the Gender-Free ID Coalition, of which Doty is a member, they want the gender classification removed from Searyl’s birth certificate because they wanted at least one piece of identification that didn’t include “an incorrect gender marker on it.”
Doty believes that people who want to change their gender later in life have to go through a difficult process, and instead wants a third option from birth.
“When I was born, doctors looked at my genitals and made assumptions about who I would be, and those assignments followed me and followed my identification throughout my life,” said Doty. “Those assumptions were incorrect, and I ended up having to do a lot of adjustments since then.”
While some would argue that this is irresponsible, that a baby needs some sort of identity at the beginning, and this could spell trouble down the road, when they are school-age, it’s also clear that Doty simply wants to give them the choice. Fighting for your kid to have an easier life than you had? If that’s not love, we don’t know what is.