Rule gives Oregonians non-gender option on driver's license

Oregon becomes first state to allow nonbinary on drivers license

Oregon just became first state to allow residents to identify their gender as non-binary on state ID

Jamie Shupe expects to stand out front of an Oregon DMV early next month and cry.

In a decision praised by transgender rights activists, OR will be the first state to allow residents to mark a third, "not specified" gender option on state identification cards. The "X" is for not-specified.

Having the third option on legal documentation can help reduce discrimination and raise awareness of "the spectrum of gender identity", said Diane Goodwin, spokeswoman for Basic Rights Oregon, an advocacy group that campaigned for the "X" option.

Transgender rights have become a flashpoint across the United States after some states, including North Carolina, have tried to restrict transgender people's use of public bathrooms. "It's something we should do because it's the right thing to do".

"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", Jamie Shupe, who in June 2016 became the nation's first person to legally change his gender to non-binary, told NBC News.

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"Gender identity refers to a person's internal sense of being male, female, or something else", according to the American Psychological Association.

The license decision comes a year after a judge in OR ruled, in what legal experts believe is the first such decision in the US, that a transgender person can legally change their sex to nonbinary, allowing a change from female to nonbinary by 52-year-old Jamie Shupe.

As part of the rule-making process, the department's Driver and Motor Vehicles division held public hearings, and comments were "overwhelmingly positive", said Tom McClellan, the division's administrator.

While Oregon is the first state in the U.S.to recognize non-binary residents on IDs, this idea isn't new, according to Julie Rodriquez, communications manager of Basic Rights Oregon.

Australia and New Zealand already have the option to choose an "X" gender on passports, and in India the options include "male", "female" and "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. But the California Family Council opposes the bill, arguing that "government documents need to reflect biological facts for identification", the AP reported.

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