New York to allow residents to select 'X' as their gender on applications for services like Medicaid and food stamps

The move comes after a lawsuit filed by non-binary residents against several public agencies for only including "M" and "F" as gender options.

Starting Jan. 1, 2024, New York will allow its residents to check a box marked "X" for their gender instead of "M" or "F," for male and female, on public documents to apply for social benefits such as Medicaid and food stamps.

This was confirmed by a court agreement that resolves a lawsuit filed in 2021 by several associations against state agencies. The computer system of the State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance (OTDA), which is responsible for overseeing aid and support programs for people who meet the necessary requirements, was allegedly discriminating against non-binary people by not giving them the option to select a gender that was not male or female.

One of the three plaintiffs claimed that "I was forced to choose between M or F, male or female, as a gender marker, which neither really align with how I express myself or feel inside," per the Associated Press

After the resolution, Gabriella Larios, a lawyer for the plaintiffs, stated that it is "a major victory for the thousands of non-binary New Yorkers" who will now "be able to seek public benefits without being forced to lie about their identity or risk being misgendered."