More Than 100 New York City Public School Students Identified As ‘X’ Last Year: Report

"X – Neither Female nor Male."
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 29: Marchers walk down 5th Avenue during the 2014 Gay Pride March on June 29, 2014 in New York City. Thousands of marchers attended the parade route, which started at 36th Street and Fifth Avenue and ended at Greenwich and Christopher streets. The parade ended at the Stonewall Inn, where New York marchers commemorated the 45th anniversary of the 1969 riots, which are credited with launching the modern gay rights movement. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and New York City's Mayor Bill de Blasio were in attendance along with grand marshals Laverne Cox, transgender actress and activist, actor Jonathan Groff and Rea Carey, Executive Director of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force. (Photo by Eric Thayer/Getty Images)
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New York City began allowing children to identify as “X” in their official public school records last year, and data reportedly shows more than 100 children took advantage of the new gender designation.

A total of 108 students in the nation’s largest public school district had their gender listed as “X” instead of “male” or “female” in the first year the option was available for students claiming a non-binary or gender-fluid identity, Chalkbeat reported.

The “X” gender students are just .01% of New York City’s 1.1 million public school students, but the numbers are expected to grow since the number of children who identify as something other than their biological gender is also growing.

“X – Neither Female nor Male: My student does not identify as female or male (for example, identifies as non-binary, gender expansive, or gender fluid,” reads the city education department’s student gender change request form.

The form emphasizes that updating a student’s name or gender in the public school student information systems is not a legal name change.

The 108 “X” gender students only include those who have asked their parents to change their gender on their official school records. Children who identify as something other than male or female, but have not talked to their parents about it or have not bothered to ask them to change school records, would not be recorded. Trans-identifying students who identify as the opposite gender would also not be included in the “X” gender category.

New York City birth certificates already allow parents to put “X” as their child’s gender, but the “X” gender option only became available on public school records last fall.

The New York Department of Motor Vehicles also started issuing driver’s licenses with the “X” gender designation last summer.


Trans-identifying students in the city’s public schools have been able to play on the sports teams of the opposite gender and change their gender on school records without going through a legal name or gender change since 2019.

Although New York City public schools must get a parent’s consent to change a child’s gender on official school records, the state education department encourages school staff to keep parents in the dark about gender transitions in some cases.

Guidance from the state education department says that telling parents about their child’s new gender identity “can have severe consequences for the student.”

The New York state education department estimated that across the state, about 300 students identified as non-binary in the school year that ended in 2022.

Meanwhile, the number of transgender people aged 13 to 17 in the U.S. is about twice what it was in 2017, according to a 2022 report from the Williams Institute, a research institute based at the UCLA School of Law.

In 2017, about 150,000 teens or 0.7% identified as transgender in the U.S., but that number has doubled to 300,000, the researchers estimated.

Teens and young adults make up a much larger portion of the transgender-identifying population compared to adults.

About 43% of the 1.6 million transgender-identifying people in the U.S. are young adults or teenagers, and nearly one in five are minors ages 13 to 17, the researchers found. This is despite the younger teen demographic being less than 8% of the total U.S. population.

About 1.4% of all teens 13 to 17 currently identify as transgender, according to the research.

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