Last month, I wrote about how Oregon was considering giving people the option to label themselves as "non-binary" on their driver's licenses. Now, this rule change has been approved, and starting on July 1, Oregonians will be the first people in the nation to have the chance to be a gender other than male or female. This non-binary designation will be represented by an "X" on the license. The change was mostly popular, with only 12 people opposed during an open comments session.
Oregon became the first U.S. state to allow residents to identify as "nonbinary," neither male nor female, on their driver licenses and identification cards Thursday in a decision by The Oregon Transportation Commission.
Beginning July 1, Oregonians will be able to choose "X" for sex Instead of "F" or "M" on their licenses and identification cards. Applicants will have to pay replacement or renewal fees.
Transgender and intersex Oregonians say the change validates their identities and makes them safer as they hand over their licenses at restaurants, health clinics and airports. Oregon Department of Motor Vehicles officials say they received little opposition to the change, which they first announced plans to carry out last summer. Of 83 comments, both written and oral, only 12 people opposed the change.
There are about 20,000 Oregonians who identify as transgender, but it is unknown how many of those people identify as something other than male or female. There is currently one person in the state who is already legally recognized as being "non-binary," army veteran Jamie Shupe. Shupe was the first person in the nation to be recognized as a gender other than male or female.