The Government of the Northwest Territories are offering a third gender option on forms of identification for NWT residents.

Residents will now have the option for an ‘X’ in the sex section of driver’s license and ID cards issued by the Department of Infrastructure.

The GNWT says the move is to add inclusivity and respect for transgender, two-spirit, intersex and non-binary residents.

Minister of Infrastructure, Wally Schumann, adds the announcement will make it easier for residents to have a government issued form of identification that matches their identity.

As one of the first jurisdictions in Canada to offer a third gender option on identification documents, the GNWT is committed to inclusivity and the fair treatment of all residents,” says Schumann. “We remain committed to ensuring individuals across the north are empowered and feel safe in the communities they call home.

With the announcement, President of the Rainbow Coalition of Yellowknife, Lane MacIntosh, said the GNWT is moving in the right direction.

It is so important for the GNWT to be moving in the direction they are because it impacts many lives for the better,” says MacIntosh. “To be able to hold Government issued ID that reflects and respects the individual which it identifies is so valuable. Being able to have an X on my ID gives me the respect and autonomy I deserve, and while there is still a long way to go as far as rights and inclusion is concerned, this is a great step forward for the GNWT.

The ‘X’ option is a standard accepted by the International Civil Aviation Organization Standards.

The change helps the GNWT meet the diverse needs of residents, and is consistent with the Vital Statistics Act.