Oregon Officially Debuts Third Gender for Driver's Licenses

As Elite Daily reported about a year ago, OR was also the first state to legally recognize an individual as a non-binary gender, so this news isn't a total surprise for the liberal state.

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.

A new rule was adopted by the Oregon Department of Motor Vehicles on Thursday.

The decision, approved by the Oregon Transportation Commission on Thursday, could affect thousands of people. An X will appear instead of an M or an F on those documents. Non-binary identities are as varied as an individual's gender expression, meaning that two non-binary people may identify in totally different ways, just as two women or two men might.

"DMV Administrator Tom McClellan choked up as he read letters of support to the commission, including from someone who encountered an embarrassing situation while going through a body scanner at an airport, and the security officer didn't know whether to push the blue button for a male passenger or a pink one for a female one", The Associated Press reports.

The new rule came about after an OR resident's court order authorized a sex change from female to "non-binary".

Authorities: Inmates captured after chase, crash
It's been two days since an audacious prison escape in rural Georgia left two guards dead and two fugitives on the loose. The reward for information leading to their capture has been gradually increased from US$60,000 and now is at US$130,000.

OR is the only USA state to allow an unspecified gender, but other countries including Germany, India, Pakistan, Australia and New Zealand also allow a third gender option.

The rule goes into effect in OR on July 3.

The group said other cultures and other countries that recognize non-binary genders include India, Bangladesh, Australia, New Zealand and Nepal. California would be the first state to establish a third gender option through legislation.

OR became the first state to legally recognize non-binary, intersex, and agender people on ID cards Thursday. Those have included prominent intersex activists like Sara Kelley Keenan and David Strachan, who have worked for years to persuade the states to officially recognize that they were born with mixed-sex traits on a biological and genetic level. It's awaiting a vote in the House. Shupe was the first person in the United States to successfully petition for a non-binary gender classification, however, since then several others have received non-binary markers through the courts.

While Texas certainly feels Draconian in its human rights "efforts", the good news shining from the west coast is promising.

  • Megan Austin