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NYC Pride 2022
Photograph: Ryan Bourque

New York now officially allows elected officials to register as non-binary

Governor Hochul just signed new legislation supporting LGBTQ+ New Yorkers.

Written by
Melissa Kravitz Hoeffner

Pride Month is coming to a close, but New York's legacy as a place of progress and equality for all people is ongoing.

On Sunday, June 26, Governor Kathy Hochul signed two important pieces of legislation in order to support and amplify New York's LGBTQ+ community.

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The first bill Hochul signed established the Lorena Borjas Transgender Wellness and Equity Fund. This will support organizations providing critical services for the transgender, gender non-conforming and non-binary folks. Named after Lorena Borjasa transgender rights advocate in Queens who died of COVID-19 in 2020, this dedicated funding will continue her work of supporting transgender immigrants and trans women experiencing poverty, sex trafficking, food insecurity and other inequities.

The second law ensures nonbinary New Yorkers can fairly and fully participate in the democratic system by allowing the non-binary gender X as an option for elected positions that require that the elected people be of varying genders, which previously were restricted to only male or female categories.

"New York is the birthplace of the LGBTQ+ rights movement and has always been the leader in advancing equality and justice for LGBTQ+ Americans, but elected officials in other states are using their powers to take those rights away," Governor Hochul said. "Today, I am proud to sign legislation that further advances equality and equity for the LGBTQ+ community. By establishing funds and addressing inequities experienced by gender non-conforming and non-binary New Yorkers, we can ensure that our state truly is a safe and affirming place for everyone and that the voices of all are heard." 

Additionally, Governor Hochul called for New York State landmarks to be illuminated in the colors of the LGBTQ+ pride flag and the transgender flag through the end of Pride month. 

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