Rule gives Oregonians non-gender option on driver's license


For Army veteran Jamie Shupe, who in June 2016 became the nation's first person to legally change their gender to non-binary, it's the culmination of an emotional, exciting year.

The state of OR has approved a new rule giving its residents the option of not specifying their gender on driver's licenses.

Shupe, an OR resident, is an Army veteran who was designated male at birth (DMAB) but began to transition in 2013.

The decision to allow a gender-neutral option was made by the Oregon Transportation Commission on Thursday, according to a report by The Oregonian. "I'm a mixture of both", Shupe said.

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. An X will appear instead of an M or an F on those documents.

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The Willamette Week reports that the new gender will go in effect on July 3. "While this change may not save the world, it will without a doubt save the worlds of those who need it".

The license decision comes a year after a judge in OR ruled, in what legal experts believe is the first such decision in the USA, that a transgender person can legally change their sex to nonbinary, allowing a change from female to nonbinary by 52-year-old Jamie Shupe. "Removing barriers for people is critical to helping all of us live healthy, productive lives".

The new rule came about after an OR resident's court order authorized a sex change from female to "non-binary". The third marker will be X for not specified. Applicants will have to pay replacement or renewal fees. And there are quite a few of us: According to the results of a GLAAD survey released earlier this year, 12 percent of millennials identify as trans or gender non-conforming.

The new licenses could make them safer, too. "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", Oregon resident J. Gibbons, who identifies as nonbinary, told Oregon Public Broadcasting. That would be a victory for us all. If other states follow suit, this might indicate that there's a legislative shift towards being more accepting toward queer identities.