#RizzNews: Oregon Becomes First State to Add Third Gender
Oregon Becomes First State to Add Third Gender to Driver’s Licenses
via NBC News
Oregon became the first state in U.S. history on Thursday to offer more than two gender options on identity documents, including driver's licenses, making it the first to legally recognize non-binary, intersex and agender people on ID cards.
When the history-making rule — which the state Transportation Commission passed late Thursday afternoon — goes into effect on July 3, Oregon residents will have the option to choose among three gender categories when applying for driver's licenses or state ID cards: male, female and "X" for non-binary or unspecified.
"We must proactively break down the barriers of institutional bias," said Gov. Kate Brown, who called the vote an important step toward creating "a society that upholds the rights, liberties and dignity of each of its people."
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.
"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," Shupe told NBC News. "But in the end, the huge legal and non-binary civil rights battle that I expected to unfold going into this never came to pass; simply because this was always the right thing to do all along."
Shupe plans to apply for a non-binary driver's license on July 3, alongside their wife, Sandy. The two plan to have a small celebratory dinner afterward.
After Shupe's quiet, unprecedented gender change, others followed suit. At least a dozen people across Oregon and California have been granted non-binary (or, in one Oregon case, agender) status by courts. 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.
In September, Keenan was able to change her New York City-issued birth certificate. Previously reading "female" in the sex field, it is now accurate for the first time in Keenan's life: It says "intersex."
But Keenan's success in changing her birth certificate was rare; not only does she hold the only known intersex birth certificate, but she also hasn't been able to use it to change her driver's license or passport. Her court judgment says she's non-binary, her birth certificate says she's intersex, and her ID card says she's female. Keenan legally has three different sexes or genders, depending on how you define it.