As the increasing number of Democratic presidential hopefuls scramble to outflank each other on the Left, New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand haas staked new territory on the left-wing of the identity spectrum: She wants the federal government to recognize something other than the two biological sexes as an official gender: "X."
Her comment came during a campaign event involving LGBTQ activists in New Hampshire Friday in which she "emphatically" said, "Yes," to the idea of inventing a third gender federally, CBS News reports.
According to the outlet, Palana Belken, "a transgender woman and organizer for the American Civil Liberties Union of New Hampshire," asked the senator if she would support a new federal "non-binary" or "X" category for gender. To the delight of the room, Gillibrand enthusiastically said yes to the idea.
"Belken said her question originated from the efforts of New Hampshire State Rep. Gerri Cannon, a transgender lawmaker who recently introduced two similar identification bills at the state level to present this third option on birth certificates and driver's licenses," CBS reports. "The potential federal change is important, Cannon said, because states have differing implementation of the 'X' identifier."
"Right now, especially non-binary people, when they go to one state to another some state trooper may take a look at a license with an 'X' on it and go, 'What is this?'" said State Rep. Cannon. Making it federally mandated would avoid such gender confusion. Only four states and a few cities offer the "X" option currently.
The concept of being "non-binary," or not identifying "exclusively" with either of the two biological sexes, is becoming more mainstream in the Democratic Party, which continues to shift leftward on the issue of sexuality and gender identity.
The Hill reports that an attempt for follow-up comments from Gillibrand's campaign "was not immediately returned," but notes that this isn't the first public statement about gender identity issued by Gillbrand. Last week, the senator used Trump's "transgender ban" in the military as a way to demonstrate her now-orthodox view among Democrats on the issue by introducing a bill that would allow transgender individuals to serve. Trump's ban, which was recently upheld by the Supreme Court, she said, is outright "discrimination," "undermines our military readiness," and "is an insult to the brave and patriotic transgender Americans who choose to serve in our military," The Hill notes.
Since announcing her candidacy last month, Gillibrand has struggled to gain much traction, not only nationally, but in her own state, where she continues to be overshadowed by other political figures on the Left. Gillibrand got some attention during the Brett Kavanaugh hearings for her vocal position against him and assertion that she believed his accusers despite a lack of corroborating evidence.
"I believe Dr. Blasey Ford because she's telling the truth," Gillibrand said in a much-reported statement in September, adding later: "These are the hallmarks of truth. These are the hallmarks of someone who wants to be believed because she fears that if this person is confirmed, he will do terrible things for [American] women. She is concerned that he does not have the character, the integrity, the honesty to be a Supreme Court Justice. I believe her because she's telling the truth."
Like many Democrats, Gillibrand framed the Kavanaugh debate in gendered terms, presenting it generally as an emphatically "binary" male vs. female debate.