A Vancouver filmmaker and writer has received Ontario’s first non-binary birth certificate.
Ontario-born Joshua M. Ferguson identifies as non-binary trans and uses the pronouns “they” and “them.”
The birth certificate is marked with an “X” designation, indicating a non-binary person. Ferguson applied to Service Ontario for the document in 2017, and filed a human rights claim when it was not initially granted.
The province issued new guidelines on gender designations last year.
“Ontario’s new policy will save lives in the trans community,” Ferguson wrote in a statement on Monday. “A birth certificate is the most vital form of ID for personhood. Being officially counted and recognized is empowering.”
Ontario says it is the first jurisdiction in the world to implement a two-fold policy, allowing the selection of either male, female or non-binary, and allowing the option of not displaying such identification on a birth certificate.
Ferguson has also fought for an “X” designation on BC Health Cards. They were also among the first to have their application for an “X” designation approved under new rules for passports and other documents issued by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada.
Ferguson called the Ontario birth certificate a “victory,” both personally and for all trans Canadians.
“This policy makes it clear that non-binary people exist,” they said. “We are Ontarians and Canadian citizens.”