A decision by Oregon’s Transportation Commission makes it the first state to allow residents to identify as “non-binary” — a third gender option beyond male or female.
Starting in July, Oregonians can select M, F, or X as their gender on licenses and identification cards, The Oregonian reports. Applicants who want a new ID will pay fees for replacement or renewal.
“There are daily interactions such as checking out at a grocery store, checking in at a doctor’s appointment — and an incorrect gender marker means the potential to be misgendered and have painful and very uncomfortable experiences at all of those stages,” J. Gibbons, a 26-year-old college counselor told Oregon Public Broadcasting.
“I’m incredibly thrilled to be an Oregonian right now,” said Gibbons, who identifies as non-binary.
The change follows a ruling last year by an Oregon judge that allowed Jamie Shupe, an Army veteran, to legally identify as non-binary. The decision was believed to be the first of its kind in the United States.
“I very much plan to head to the nearest DMV and ask for that ID to be corrected on July 3rd,” Shupe told Reuters. “And then I’ll no doubt stand out front of the building, or sit in the car, and cry.”
In considering the new rule for state IDs, the DMV listened to and read comments from people for and against the change. Only 12 opposed the change, the Oregonian reported. “People didn’t share their testimony,” Tom McClellan, the division administrator for the department, told the newspaper. “They shared their stories. They told us of their struggles so we would understand the need.”