Chicago’s Municipal ID Card, which will be unveiled in March 2018, will include options for our gender expansive communities, young people, older adults, and undocumented people. The measure was approved by The City Council and the program is being launched by The City Clerk, Anna M. Valencia. Most notably, for the gender non-conforming and non-binary community, a third gender option “NB” (which is short for “non-binary”) will be offered as an option to participants. This option will make Chicago the first municipality in The State of Illinois to offer a third gender marker on a government issued ID.

Even more, Individuals who do not wish to use their legal name will be given the option to use initials instead. For example: the initials of their first and middle names, and full legal last name (ex. John James Smith would be J. Smith or J.J. Smith). Howard Brown Health along with many other community advocates such as: The Transformative Justice Law Project of Illinois, ICCIR, Access LivingCommunities United and Mujeres Latinas en Accion urged the city to make this ID program a reality and as inclusive as possible.

Last week, The City Clerk made formal announcement of the “pilot program launch” which has begun and already created IDs for individuals participating in the “beta launch”. The official launch of the program begins later this spring and the city aims to connect the municipal ID with services like Ventra, Chicago Public Library Cards, and more. Once the program is officially launched in March of 2018 social service and community agencies, such as Howard Brown, will be able to help individuals in transitional living or without other forms of government documentation to apply for IDs and get connected to these essential resources with their new ID. For young people, older adults, undocumented and transgender and gender non-conforming people, Howard Brown will soon be a space where they can begin the ID process and do so in an LGBTQ-affirming space.

Howard Brown Health is very pleased that in 2018, Chicagoans across the city can access an affirming and expansive municipal ID. Howard Brown believes that all individuals deserve access to live saving resources like, transitional living spaces, support groups, and of course healthcare. We are pleased that The City of Chicago has prioritized some of the most vulnerable. Please stay tuned as we gather more details on the official public launch date and details on how to participate in this exciting program!

For more information, please contact Crispin Torres at crispint@howardbrown.org