New York City now defines gender as male, female, "or something else entirely," according to a new edict from the Commission on Human Rights.
Mayor Bill de Blasio’s administration released a list of 31 approved genders last week, which can be used as a guide for businesses that now face up to $250,000 fines if they refuse to call a person by their preferred pronoun.
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"In New York City, it’s illegal to discriminate on the basis of gender identity and gender expression in the workplace, in public spaces, and in housing," according to the city’s gender identity and expression factsheet. "The NYC Commission on Human Rights is committed to ensuring that transgender and gender non-conforming New Yorkers are treated with dignity and respect and without threat of discrimination or harassment."
The city now legally defines a person’s sex as anything.
The commission defines gender identity as "One's internal, deeply-held sense of one’s gender as male, female, or something else entirely."
"A transgender person is someone whose gender identity does not match the sex they were assigned at birth," the commission said.
The list of 31 genders includes "drag king," "drag queen," "femme queen," "butch," "gender fluid," "gender gifted," "gender bender," "gender blender," and "femme person of transgender experience."
The city’s law prohibiting gender discrimination requires all New Yorkers to cater to gender non-conforming individuals by using their preferred pronouns and titles. Individuals can also use whatever bathroom or locker room they want, based on their "gender identity," or relieve themselves in the street.
The law also means "individuals have the right to follow dress codes and grooming standards consistent with their gender identity expression," according to the fact sheet.
The fact sheet also provides a lesson in "Courtesy 101," and instructs New Yorkers to not "make assumptions about a transgender person's sexual orientation."
"If you don't know what pronouns to use, ask," the commission said. "Be polite and respectful; if you use the wrong pronoun, apologize and move on."