ALBANY, N.Y. — Nonbinary New Yorkers who currently must declare themselves as male or female to receive Medicaid, food stamps and other public assistance say in lawsuit filed Monday that the state is discriminating against them by failing to provide an X gender option.
The lawsuit filed against state and city agencies that run benefit programs seeks the type of nonbinary gender option already allowed on New York birth certificates and promised for driver’s licenses. The nonbinary plaintiffs said the “outdated” state computer system maintained by the Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance compels nonbinary people to either lie under oath or to be denied benefits.
“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. So that was particularly traumatic, especially during such a vulnerable time,” said Jules Donahue, one of three plaintiffs in the lawsuit filed by the New York Civil