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Oregon becomes first state to add non-gender option on licenses
17 June 2017, 11:19 | Colleen Roy
Oregon 1st to allow non-binary gender option on IDs
Last year's ruling on the case that a transgender person can legally change their sex to something other than male or female paved the way for the option to make it onto official documents like licenses.
The rule, which will go into effect on July 1, came after a judge ruled people should be able to select non-binary as a gender option on their identification. Now, it's officially on Shupe's driver's license.
The Transportation Commission convened an advisory group on the third gender option and held public hearings on it, in which the people speaking in favor of it far outnumbered those opposed, although one of the opponents called it "political correctness gone haywire".
When applying for a driver's license or state ID card, you are asked to tick a little box identifying your gender: "m" for male, and "f" for female. About 20,000 people in the state are transgender. "I consider myself as a third sex", Shupe added.
DMV Administrator Tom McClellan choked up as he read letters of support to the commission, including from someone who encountered an embarrassing situation while going through a body scanner at an airport, and the security officer didn't know whether to push the blue button for a male passenger or a pink one for a female one.
"This change in ID is a huge piece of validation for me", J Gibbons, a non-binary, transgender Portland resident told The Guardian. As of July 3rd, Oregonians can choose an "X" for "not specified" as their gender.
OR will be the first state in the nation to offer a third gender option on its state IDs - an acknowledgment that validates transgender identities.
"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", Nancy Haque of Basic Rights Oregonsaid in a statement. Several countries, including Canada, India, Australia, New Zealand, Nepal and Bangladesh have acknowledged the need to recognize non-binary genders for years. Senate Bill 179 passed the Senate on May 31 and awaits a vote in the House.
Gender binary is history-in the West Coast, at least.
Last year, intersex activist and Navy veteran Dana Zzyym sued the federal government for the right to choose a third gender on their passport.
Passports in the US don't now recognize the third gender option.
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