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Oregon just became the first state to legally recognise non-binary people

Josh Jackman June 16, 2017
Oregon Senator Kate Brown

Oregon Senator Kate Brown (Photo by Craig Mitchelldyer/Getty Images)

Oregon has become the first state to legally recognise non-binary people.

The state will now allow people to choose a third gender on official documents like driving licenses and identification cards.

In addition to ‘F’ and ‘M’, people will be able to choose ‘X’.

The move, which is set to go into effect on July 1, is confirmation of a massive civil rights win for anyone who does not identify as simply male or female.

This includes non-binary, gender-fluid and genderqueer people, as well as some trans people.

Citizens will be able to request a change to the gender on their documents without the need for a doctor’s note.

“This change in ID is a huge piece of validation for me,” J Gibbons, a non-binary, transgender Portland resident told The Guardian.

Gibbons, 26, uses gender-neutral and they/them pronouns.

They said: “The state of Oregon sees me for who I am.

“I don’t even think ‘excitement’ can capture all of my emotions about this change.”

Governor Kate Brown, who is out as bi and who signed the bill into law, made history last year when she became the first out LGB person to win election as governor of a US state.

Earlier this month, California took a huge step towards legally recognising non-binary people.

The state Senate passed a bill which, similarly to the Oregon legislation, would allow people to choose a third gender on official forms.

Patch

Californians who want to change their gender on government documents have to submit proof that they have undertaken medical treatment to change physically.

The bill still needs to be approved by the Assembly and signed by Governor Jerry Brown.

In March, Patch, a 27-year-old video game designer from Oregon, became the first legally agender person in the US.

Patch, who does not use pronouns, also won the right to become mononymous – that is, to be known by a first name alone, with no surname.

More: gender, gender fluid, genderqueer, Governor Kate Brown, non-binary, Oregon, portland, Third Gender, Transgender, US, US

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