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

Posted June 17, 2017

"It's fitting that this is before us during Pride Week in OR and Pride Month around the country", said Commissioner Sean O'Hollaren.

Soon, the people of OR will be allowed to choose between M (Male), F (Female), and X (non-specified) when selecting a gender for their driver's license and state identifcation cards.

Activists hope an "X" gender designation is on the way in other states, and eventually, for USA passports.

"Our lives are so gendered, which is why it's important that driver licenses and other forms of IDs recognize people who are non-binary", said Basic Rights Oregon co-executive director Nancy Haque, whose organization campaigned for the change.

In a statement issued Thursday after OR made its decision, Lambda Legal explained why giving non-binary people the legal means to identify themselves as such on state ID is so much more than ink on paper.

And then it got personal: At public hearings in Eugene and Portland in early May, 71 people spoke in favor of adding the "X".

A 2015 report by the National Center for Transgender Equality, found that people who show IDs that don't match their identities regularly report facing harassment and in some cases physical violence. "It's something we should do because it's the right thing to do".

"The "X" is in use internationally, and in fact it's a standard recommended by the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators", said David House, a spokesperson for the Oregon Department of Motor Vehicles.

While Oregon is the first US state to offer a third gender option, there is precedent for it around the world.

OR is the first state in the nation to offer that option.

Australia and New Zealand have already have the option to choose "X" on their passports, and passport applicants in India can pick Male, Female or Eunuch. 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.

'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 tells NBC News.

The DMV said it studied state laws, updated computer systems, worked with law enforcement and courts and changed administrative rules to implement the change and comply with the Multnomah Court's order.

"My gender identity is definitely feminine".