Oregon Is First State to Legally Recognize Non-Specified Gender

People gather at the Equality March for Unity and Pride in Washington D.C

SALEM, OR-Effective July 1, the Oregon Department of Motor Vehicles ( DMV ) will begin offering a third gender marker on state identification cards, making Oregon the first state in the country to recognize non-binary identities.

This photo shows the headquarters of Oregon's Driver and Motor Vehicles Division on Thursday, June 15, 2017, in Salem, Ore. "They told us of their struggles so we would understand the need".

"This change in ID is a huge piece of validation for me", J Gibbons, a 26-year-old non-binary Portland resident said to The Guardian.

According to Amber Ferguson of the Washington Post, the Commission's decision "became inevitable" after an or judge allowed 52-year-old Jamie Shupe to legally identify as non-binary in June of last 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 after the commission's vote. "And then I'll no doubt stand out front of the building, or sit in the auto, and cry". 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. Earlier this year in a cover story for TIME, LGBTQ advocacy organization GLAAD reported that one in five of Millennials identify as something other than straight and cisgender; in contrast, only seven percent of baby boomers identify as such. "Ideally, my child will grow up in a world and an OR that recognizes and sees them for who they are, no matter how they identity".

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

Oregon's "X" category now allows people like Shupe to opt out of sex and gender on drivers' licenses, meaning that in emergencies medical teams will have to decipher their birth gender rather than having the information readily available.

The policy change was cheered by supporters as a major step in expanding legal recognition and civil rights for people who do not identify as male or female.

Ultimately, the goal of gender activists is to add a third non-binary option on birth certificates, an idea now being debated in Canada and California.

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