Gender recognition in the United States

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This article gives information on recognition of nonbinary gender identities in law, government, services, and businesses in the United States of America. This also deals with policies about transgender people in general, and related policies about intersex people. Recognition here means whether an organization acknowledges that such people exist and have valid identities, and the organization does this by routinely giving them a place where they aren't forced into being wrongly categorized as a gender that doesn't match their gender identity. In the case of recognition of nonbinary people, this means the system doesn't force them to wrongly say they are one of the binary genders (female or male).

How to use[edit | edit source]

When adding to the tables, please note all sections are in alphabetical order, as are the entries within them. Here is an explanation of the columns and the color code in most of the tables on this page.

Color code for each cell in the below tables:

  • green (#9f9) means it doesn't ask for this information at all. This is ideal, because it doesn't need to be changed, won't make a mismatch with other paperwork, and is no trouble.
  • blue (#9ff) means it offers a write-in field. This is good, because it acknowledges the existence of nonbinary people, but it can make a mismatch with other paperwork.
  • yellow (#ffb) means it asks, but answering it is optional. For a title, this means it lets you leave it blank. For a gender, this means it lets you leave it blank, or select an option called "none", "prefer not to state", or "unspecified". This doesn't acknowledge the existence of nonbinary people, and can make mismatches with other paperwork, but it's better than otherwise.
  • purple (#f9d) means it has mandatory selection, but gives some gender-neutral options, which may even acknowledge the existence of people who are nonbinary or intersex. For a title, this means the available options include not only Dr, but Mx. For a gender, it acknowledges that there could be other genders than female or male, giving options such as "other" or "intersex". This acknowledges the existence of nonbinary people, which is good, but requires you to be either out or closeted, and can create mismatches with other paperwork, which is trouble.
  • red (#f99) is mandatory selection, without gender-neutral options. For a title, the only remotely gender neutral titles it offers are things such as "Dr". For a gender, it only allows only female or male. This is the worst, because it is nonbinary erasure. Activists need let the organization know it can be more inclusive.
  • white background means we don't have information about this yet, or some other situation (describe)

Columns in the table:

  • Title is for title selection. Does the organization's paperwork require you to give a title such as Dr., does it let you leave it blank, or does it let you write in gender neutral titles such as Mx?
  • Gender is for explicit gender (or "sex") selection. Does the organization's paperwork require you to say what gender you are, or doesn't ask? If it does, are you limited only to female and male options, or can you write in something else?

Ideally, please include a link to evidence, such as a screenshot or scan of the paperwork, with personal details blacked out, or cite a source.


Businesses[edit | edit source]

This section is for kinds of businesses other than listed elsewhere on this page. Please add to this section.

Planet Fitness in Richmond, CA is willing to let individuals "choose" which of the two binary locker rooms they would like to use.

Charities[edit | edit source]

Charitable organizations. Please add to this section.

Education[edit | edit source]

Schools of all kinds, as well as other educational resources.

See main article: gender recognition in education in the United States, which has a list of colleges and universities, and how each one handles nonbinary gender and other transgender and intersex issues in its enrollment paperwork and its other resources.

Finance[edit | edit source]

Banks, credit unions, and other financial institutions.

Organization Title Gender Notes
BECU (credit union) Doesn't print title on debit or credit card.
Capitol One (bank) Doesn't print title on debit or credit card. [1]
Chase (bank) Doesn't print title on debit or credit card.[2]
SunTrust (bank) Doesn't print title on debit or credit card.[3]
Wells Fargo (bank) Doesn't print title on debit or credit card.[4]

Employment[edit | edit source]

In general, employment discrimination laws regarding gender identity and LGBT identity vary by state. See Wikipedia: Legal aspects of transsexualism in the United States - Employment discrimination.

Private employment agencies[edit | edit source]

Public employment agencies (the Department of Labor, the "unemployment agency") would be not in this section, but in the section for state government and federal government.

Organization Title Gender Notes
RobertHalf OfficeTeam (office temping agency) Doesn't ask Doesn't ask

Government[edit | edit source]

Federal and state government.

Official documents of identity[edit | edit source]

See main article at gender recognition in identity documents in the United States, which covers birth certificates, driver's licenses, passports, and other identity documents.

Marriage certificates[edit | edit source]

Massachusetts[edit | edit source]

Marriage certificates at the City of Cambridge in Massachusetts ask for a binary sex, but by special permission, this can be left blank, so the marriage certificate has no gender on it.[5]

Voting[edit | edit source]

Transgender disenfranchisement is the practice of creating or upholding barriers that keep transgender people from voting. One way this happens is by requiring that people need to show ID in order to vote. That makes problems for transgender people who have mismatches on the gender markers on their ID. For nonbinary people in particular, they may be limited to forms of ID that don't show a gender marker, such as Social Security cards (which some states don't accept as ID) or military retiree ID cards (which some people don't have and perhaps can't get). Some states let people prove their identity by showing a utility bill, which doesn't show gender, assuming the bill doesn't address the customer by a gendered title. See Wikipedia:Transgender disenfranchisement in the United States for more about this transgender rights issue.

Housing[edit | edit source]

In general, laws regarding housing discrimination for gender identity and LGBT people vary by state. See Wikipedia: Legal aspects of transsexualism in the United States.

Medical[edit | edit source]

Clinics, hospitals, health insurance. Please add to this section.

Heath insurance[edit | edit source]

Many kinds of health insurance don't cover transgender-related healthcare (meaning hormone therapy and surgery). However, in some states, insurance is required by law to cover it:[6]

The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) maintains a list of health insurance companies and their relevant policies: "Finding Insurance For Transgender Related Health Care."

However, even with coverage, many insurance companies will misgender clients on ID cards, websites, and in promotional mailings (such as those offering a discount for getting a certain medical procedure).

Many medical records use M or F markers and contain all aliases, and even in trans-centric places like the Lyon-Martin Clinic, paperwork is labeled by legal gender marker and a (T) for transgender when applicable. These markers and names often print on medical ID bracelets, including emergency rooms, hospitals, and in-patient psychiatric wards. At least one hospital, Sutter General in West Oakland, is willing to prevent deadnames from printing to ID bracelets upon formal request through the patient complaint customer service phone line; however, it was not willing to remove the gender marker.

Additionally, even without medical records, ambulances and hospitals tend to pick a gender marker based off how they interpret a person to look, without asking. And even in emergency rooms with a fill-in-the-blank option for gender, staff and records tend to completely ignore this altogether.

Shopping[edit | edit source]

Supermarkets, stores, and other kinds of shopping in the USA. Please add to this section.

Utilities[edit | edit source]

Utilities such as power, gas, electricity, water, and communications. Please add to this section.

Veterinary[edit | edit source]

Animal and pet clinics and hospitals. Please add to this section.

Websites[edit | edit source]

Websites and online services specific to the USA, other than those listed elsewhere on this page. Otherwise, see websites and social networks, which is international. Please add to this section.

See also[edit | edit source]

External links[edit | edit source]

  • Intersex & Genderqueer Recognition Project "is the only legal organization in the United States addressing the right of non-binary adults to gender-self-identify on legal documents. [...] IGRP's goal is to allow non-binary adults to self-identify as something other than male or female on their driver’s license, passport, and other government issued identification."


References[edit | edit source]


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