OR is first to offer third gender option on official IDs

OR is first to offer third gender option on official IDs

Earlier this month, Gov. Kate Brown signed a bill making it easier for transgender residents to shield changes they make to their birth certificates, with the aim of mitigating potential discrimination from employers or landlords, making or the second state (after California) to pass such a law.

According to BuzzFeed, the Oregon Transportation Commission approved a rule on Thursday that will allow people living in the state to officially declare their gender as non-binary on their driver's licenses. The bill simplifies the process of legal gender changes and introduces the non-binary gender option "X" in identification documents.

The new Department of Motor Vehicles policy, enacted Thursday, allows individuals to identify as "X" rather than "M" or "F" - a move that LGBTQ advocates say will serve to validate the identities of transgender, genderqueer, and intersex Oregonians.

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 past year. "This was always the right thing to do all along", he added.

"I'm incredibly thrilled to be an Oregonian right now", said J. Gibbons.

The policy change was cheered by supporters as a major step in expanding legal recognition and civil rights for people who do not identify as male or female.

The state Senate passed a bill which, similarly to the OR legislation, would allow people to choose a third gender on official forms.

The ruling, which is believed to be the first of its kind, allowed Portland resident Jamie Shupe to mark that designation in a standard petition for change of sex. A survey by the National Center for Transgender Equality, in fact, found that one third of respondents who showed an ID with a name or gender that did not align with their external presentation had experienced verbal harassment, denial of services, and even physical assault.

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. Several countries, including Canada, India, Australia, New Zealand, Nepal and Bangladesh have acknowledged the need to recognize non-binary genders for years. OR beat to the punch California, where a broader bill is moving through the legislature to allow a gender-neutral choice on licenses and other documents, such as birth certificates. "I consider myself as a third sex", Shupe added.

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