Published: Sat, June 17, 2017
World Media | By Joan Schultz

'X' added as genderqueer option on OR driver's licenses

'X' added as genderqueer option on OR driver's licenses

The rule was inspired by Portland resident Jamie Shupe, an army veteran who became the first American to legally change their gender to non-binary, thanks to a ruling by an OR circuit court a year ago.

Residents can now freely change their gender on their driver's licenses without a doctor's note saying they are transgender or non-binary.

"It's exciting to see Oregon's Department of Motor Vehicles adopt this change", she said in a press release".

The decision to allow a gender-neutral option was made by the Oregon Transportation Commission on Thursday, according to a report by The Oregonian.

The new rule allows Oregonians to list "X" on state IDs, as opposed to marking "M" or "F" for male and female. In fact, United Nation states use an internationally recognized format that includes a non-binary gender marker of X.

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In Oregon, the process for deciding whether to implement a third sex field may have began with Shupe's court judgment, but it continued over a year of conversations among the Transportation Department, statewide agencies and law enforcement, and motor vehicle departments nationwide. "Removing barriers for people is critical to helping all of us live healthy, productive lives".

"This change in ID is a huge piece of validation for me", J Gibbons, a non-binary, transgender Portland resident told The Guardian.

Meanwhile, India, Bangladesh, Australia, New Zealand and Nepal already recognize non-binary genders.

OR might not be alone for long: In January, California lawmakers introduced a bill that would add a third gender option to licenses, as well. Reuters points out OR is the first state to provide this option. Non-binary identities have been common throughout history and around the world. Things like following gendered dress codes for work, choosing whether or not to wear a shirt in public settings, and of course, issues involving using the bathroom, can be avoided if individuals are allowed to show their third-gender ID option. "Saddled with identification that does not reflect who they are, people with nonbinary genders may be targeted for discrimination, harassment and violence", Hayley Gorenberg, deputy legal director of lesbian, gay, bisexuals and transgender rights advocacy group Lambda Legal, said in a statement.

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