The National Center for Transgender Equality won a major battle by ending gender markers on Medicare cards. Why can’t all government IDs drop the M and F?
For most people, a mistake on their insurance card or driver’s license is a minor inconvenience. For transgender people, it can represent a real threat to their liberty and even to their safety.
In a survey of nearly 28,000 transgender adults in the United States, nearly one-third of respondents who showed an ID with a name or gender that did not match their gender presentation were verbally harassed, denied service, asked to leave, or even assaulted.
It’s one reason the National Center for Transgender Equality is proud to announce a historic new rule from the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare. Starting this week, CMS will begin sending out new cards to the 44 million Medicare recipients, none of which will include any mention of the recipients’ gender.
The change at CMS is certainly the largest of its kind, but it’s far from the first. With new rules concerning driver’s licenses and birth certificates in Oregon, California, Pennsylvania, and the District of Columbia, it’s a good time to talk about whether ID documents we use every day should list our gender at all.