Oregon became the first state in the U.S. recently to offer more than two gender options on driver’s licenses, now recognizing non-binary, intersex and agender people on ID cards. The rule goes into effect July 3, Oregon residents can choose between male, female and “X” for non-binary or unspecified.
NBC News reports that at least a dozen people across Oregon and California have been granted non-binary (or, in one Oregon case, agender) status by courts. That includes activists like Sara Kelley Keenan and David Strachan, who have worked for years to persuade the states to officially recognize that they were born with mixed-sex traits on a biological and genetic level.
The ‘X’ option for not specifying sex is apparently in use internationally. Australia and New Zealand residents have the option to choose “X” on passports, and in India passport applicants have the choice of Male, Female or Eunuch. Also in India, voter registration cards can now read “O” for “Other.” In Canada, Ontario became the first in North America to allow “X” in the sex field.
California could join Oregon soon. A bill was introduced there that would add a third gender option to licenses. If it goes through, California will be the first state to enact a new gender category through legislation.”While we don’t expect any travel issues, this is the first in the U.S., so it’s new territory for the whole country,” House said.