Rule gives Oregonians non-gender option on driver's license

Male, female or X? Oregon adds third option to driver's licenses
Oregon just became first state to allow residents to identify their gender as non-binary on state ID
Author

17 June, 2017

Adding another gender marker to the system may seem small or insignificant to some, but for those who do not identify as binary and have been forced to exist within one on legal documents, finally being officially recognized on their license is a step toward being more recognized in society in general. "Our lives are so gendered, which is why it's important that driver licenses and other forms of IDs recognize people who are non-binary". According to Reuters, the policy was unanimously adopted by the Oregon Transportation Commission.

In offering them, Oregon becomes the first state to legally recognize "non-binary" individuals on ID cards, according to the Oregon Department of Transportation, which is making the option available beginning in July.

A dozen people expressed opposition, with one person calling the third-gender driver's licences "political correctness gone haywire".

'I've trembled with the fear of failure and cried tears until I had no more tears to cry, because of the magnitude of what's been at stake-and now won, ' Shupe tells NBC News.

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Australia and New Zealand already have the option to choose an "X" gender on passports, and in India the options include "male", "female" and "eunuch".

As OPB's Kristian Foden-Vencil reported previous year, several other countries recognize a third gender, including India, Pakistan, Australia and Germany. The "X" is for not-specified. But Diane Goodwin with Basic Rights Oregon said the change is necessary to move the issue forward. Recently, a bill passed through the California House Senate, which would similarly allow for a third gender-neutral option.

"I'm incredibly thrilled to be an Oregonian right now", said Gibbons, who identifies as non-binary. It's awaiting a vote in the House. Non-binary identities have been common throughout history and around the world. Shupe was the first person in the United States to successfully petition for a non-binary gender classification, however, since then several others have received non-binary markers through the courts.

Passports in the USA don't now recognize the third gender option. While Shupe is excited to finally get an ID card that reflects their gender change, Shupe isn't so sure the federal government will be as progressive as the Western states.


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