Oregon becomes 1st state to offer third gender option IDs

The change follows a ruling a year ago by an OR judge that allowed Jamie Shupe, an Army veteran, to legally identify as non-binary.

While Oregon is the first USA state to offer the option, the "X" is also in use in Australia, New Zealand and the Canadian province Ontario.

Oregon Department of Motor Vehicles officials say they received little opposition to the change, which they first announced plans to carry out last summer.

The decision came from the state's Transportation Commission Thursday evening. Instead of just "M" for Male and "F" for Female, people will soon be able to choose "X" when ticking off their gender marker. OR isn't the only state working to improve gender marker options on official documents. "I consider myself as a third sex".

"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 International Civil Aviation Organization, which develops passport standards, has recommended an "X for unspecified" option since 1996, according to NBC. The change is effective July 1 and does not need a doctor's note to take place. "Removing barriers for people is critical to helping all of us live healthy, productive lives".

The process of adding the X option was kicked off last summer by a court order from the Multnomah County Circuit Court after a judge ruled that Army veteran Jamie Shupe could legally change genders from female to non-binary.

As OPB's Kristian Foden-Vencil reported previous year, several other countries recognize a third gender, including India, Pakistan, Australia and Germany.

"It's exciting to see Oregon's Department of Motor Vehicles adopt this change", Nancy Haque, co-executive director of Basic Rights Oregon, said in a statement. The state senate in May passed a bill to add a third gender option to official state documents, including birth certificates, sending the measure to the state assembly. Things like following gendered dress codes for work, choosing whether or not to wear a shirt in public settings, and of course, issues involving using the bathroom, can be avoided if individuals are allowed to show their third-gender ID option.

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