Oregon becomes 1st state to offer third gender option IDs

Oregon becomes first state to allow nonbinary on drivers license

Following Shupe's win, at least 12 other people in OR and California have changed their gender designation to non-binary OR agender.

An employee of the advocacy group Basic Rights Oregon hands out stickers during an Oregon Driver and Motor Vehicle department public hearing on the rights of transgender people as the state considers adding a third gender choice to driver's licences and identification cards, in Portland, Oregon, May 10, 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.

The DMV made the change after a Multnomah County judge allowed retired Army mechanic Jamie Shupe to legally identify as non-binary.

Governor Kate Brown, who is out as bi and who signed the bill into law, made history past year when she became the first out LGB person to win election as governor of a U.S. state. It did not need legislative action because state law does not specify that drivers must choose male or female. Non-binary identities are as varied as an individual's gender expression, meaning that two non-binary people may identify in totally different ways, just as two women or two men might.

As for the licenses, the final decision was ultimately up to the Oregon Department of Motor Vehicles.

Starting next month, the Oregon DMV will offer identity cards with a third gender marker.


They said: "The state of OR sees me for who I am". My gender identity is definitely feminine.

"ID cards are something we show at banks, to new bosses, to police, to bartenders", said gendefluid Oregonian Danno Mannino, "And every time I have to pull it out of my wallet, my heart sinks that my true name and gender are not acknowledged on it yet..." "I'm a mixture of both", Shupe said.

"There's a little more truth and justice in the world today", said Hayley Gorenberg, deputy legal director of Lambda Legal, the oldest and largest national legal organization that advocates for the civil rights of lesbians, gays, bisexuals, transgender people.

Last year, intersex activist and Navy veteran Dana Zzyym sued the federal government for the right to choose a third gender on their passport.

Earlier this year, the Canadian province of Ontario implemented the option of an X gender on licenses.

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