Oregon Becomes The First State To Issue Non-Binary Drivers Licenses

Oregon just became first state to allow residents to identify their gender as non-binary on state ID

That decision prompted OR officials to examine how they could recognise a third gender in its computer systems and affect the state's gender laws. Beginning July 1, Oregonians will be able to choose X, for unspecified gender, in addition to M and F, when obtaining IDs from the Department of Motor Vehicles.

The measure is also particularly meaningful to Army veteran Jamie Shupe, a resident of the state who became the first person in the U.S.to legally change their gender classification to nonbinary. "We know gender is a spectrum and some people don't identify as male or female", said Basic Rights Oregon Co-Executive Director Nancy Haque.

"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", Jamie Shupe, who in June 2016 became the nation's first person to legally change his gender to non-binary, told NBC News.

In January, New York City issued the first-known intersex birth certificate to Sara Kelley Keenan, but Keenan has been since unable to change the gender on her birth certificate or state ID. 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.

As part of the rule-making process, the department's Driver and Motor Vehicles division held public hearings, and comments were "overwhelmingly positive", said Tom McClellan, the division's administrator. "And then I'll no doubt stand out front of the building, or sit in the auto, and cry". My gender identity has never been male, but I feel like I have to own up to my male biology.

As OPB's Kristian Foden-Vencil reported past year, several other countries recognize a third gender, including India, Pakistan, Australia and Germany. About 20,000 people in the state are transgender. "I'm a mixture of both", Shupe said.

OR is the only U.S. state to allow an unspecified gender, but other countries including Germany, India, Pakistan, Australia and New Zealand also allow a third gender option. "I consider myself as a third sex".

In California, the state Senate by a 26-12 vote passed a bill on May 31 to add a third gender option on state IDs, sending it to the state Assembly.

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