The title of this article is a bit on the misleading side, for which I apologize in advance. We’ve covered all manner of stories about the transgender debates sweeping the nation and at first glance that’s what this one looked like. There’s a bill under consideration in California which will allow official documents such as drivers licenses to offer three choices in the gender column. But this one has nothing to do with “choice” or political movements. It deals with a very real condition affecting a significant number of people and should be encouraged. (CBS Local)
California would be the first in the country with a third gender option on the books.
Sara Kelly Keenan made international headlines last year when New York City issued her the first ever birth certificate with an “intersex” classification in the gender field, instead of male or female.
“My body looks quite different from other women,” says Keenan, who uses “she” as a pronoun.
Keenan says she was born intersex- having male genes, with female genitalia and mixed internal reproductive organs. Keenan kept her story secret for most of her life, but now that she’s legally recognized, she wants to help others who feel they’re neither man nor woman, but “non binary.”
At least as it’s being presented, this option would be intended (and intended is the key portion) to offer a more accurate choice for individuals who are born with a genetic abnormality resulting in a condition which is currently referred to as being intersex. Sometimes incorrectly referred to by the term “hermaphrodite” the American Psychological Association defines intersex as follows:
A variety of conditions that lead to atypical development of physical sex characteristics are collectively referred to as intersex conditions. These conditions can involve abnormalities of the external genitals, internal reproductive organs, sex chromosomes or sex-related hormones. Some examples include:
External genitals that cannot be easily classified as male or female.
Incomplete or unusual development of the internal reproductive organs.
Inconsistency between the external genitals and the internal reproductive organs.
Abnormalities of the sex chromosomes.
Abnormal development of the testes or ovaries.
Over- or underproduction of sex-related hormones.
Inability of the body to respond normally to sex-related hormones.
Taken at face value, this has nothing to do with the entire phenomenon of “transgenderism” or variously gender dysphoria or gender impersonation. This is a medical condition which is well known and documented. Traditionally, many parents found themselves in a situation where they would be forced to “pick a gender” for their children born with such a condition and raise them that way. This could lead to all manner of issues later one as you might well imagine. But if intersex individuals wish to define their gender in this fashion for official records, they should certainly be able to.
This leads to the obvious question of whether or not others in the aforementioned “transgender” category would want to start making this selection on their identification documents, but that’s an argument for another day. If California and any other states wish to put such laws on the books, it’s only fair for them to do so.