The Oregon Department Of Vehicles is now issues driver licenses with a “non binary” gender option. This comes after one Jamie Shupe won a Multnomah County court battle, with Judge Amy Holmes Hehn legally changing Shupe’s gender to “non binary”.
Shupe, an Oregon resident, is an Army veteran who was designated male at birth (DMAB) but began to transition in 2013. Shupe, who according to The Oregonian prefers to be called “Jamie” rather than by a pronoun, said that being non-binary allows Shupe to acknowledge being DMAB and having a feminine gender identity. “I’m a mixture of both,” Shupe said. “I consider myself as a third sex.”
Whereas gender on licenses is usually marked with an M or F, Oregon residents now have the option of marking X to indicate not specified, which includes being non-binary. The change is effective July 1 and does not need a doctor’s note to take place. People will self-identify and go through the normal license replacing process.
For Oregonians, being able to demonstrate a non-binary gender on their licenses can be the first step toward public visibility for the rest of us who are non-binary. And there are quite a few of us: According to the results of a GLAAD survey released earlier this year, 12 percent of millennials identify as trans or gender non-conforming.
“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,” J. Gibbons, a 26-year-old college counselor told Oregon Public Broadcasting.
“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.
She said that when people’s appearance doesn’t appear to match gender markers on ID cards, they “endure insults and psychological trauma that could largely be averted if they had an option to use a gender marker that does not contradict who they are.”
Video of the Oregon Transportation Commission meeting can be seen here: