What is Gender 'X'? OR and California Are Breaking With M/F Binary

Posted June 17, 2017

Among them is US Army veteran Jamie Shupe who a year ago became the first person in the US to legally change their gender to non-binary.

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. The measure was approved Thursday by the Oregon Transportation Commission, according to the Oregonian.

An X will appear instead of M or F in or driver records and on the driver license, instruction permit or ID card.

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A 2015 report by the National Center for Transgender Equality, found that people who show IDs that don't match their identities regularly report facing harassment and in some cases physical violence.

Supportive comments included that the DMV was "being careful and considerate", McClellan said, adding that one letter of support read, "Thank you for making it easy for me". "Removing barriers for people is critical to helping all of us live healthy, productive lives".

The Department of Motor Vehicles said in a statement that it took roughly a year to implement the change because "time was required to study state laws, update computer systems, work with business partners such as law enforcement and courts, and change administrative rules". "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.

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And then it got personal: At public hearings in Eugene and Portland in early May, 71 people spoke in favor of adding the "X". The third option - a non-binary gender - will be reflected with an X starting July 3, 2017.

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. Several countries, including Canada, India, Australia, New Zealand, Nepal and Bangladesh have acknowledged the need to recognize non-binary genders for years. Recently, a bill passed through the California House Senate, which would similarly allow for a third gender-neutral option. Non-binary identities have been common throughout history and around the world.

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