Oregon becomes first state to offer a third gender option on driver’s licenses

America’s LGBT community has changed dramatically over the past few decades–mostly for the better. Despite pushback from some conservative quarters, we’ve achieved more than many thought possible, making jaw-dropping strides toward equality.

As we’ve done so, folks who were once on the fringes of our community–people who don’t strictly identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender–have become far more visible. They might call themselves queer, or questioning, or asexual, but what they often have in common is their refusal to play conventional gender roles of male or female.

While that evolution has been exhilarating, it hasn’t been a completely smooth ride. It’s one thing for someone to be non-gender-conforming in an LBGT-friendly bar or hanging out with friends. It’s quite another thing for someone to eschew familiar binaries in front of a law enforcement agent.

As CNN reports, the state of Oregon understands that dilemma, and it’s instituted an important change to make its Department of Motor Vehicles one of the most queer-friendly in the U.S. Some time ago, Oregon simplified the process of changing the gender on driver’s licenses, and now, queer folk can opt out of the gender binary altogether:

Most DMVs are the last place you want to stand in line. But come July 3, people may be queuing up in Oregon to get a new driver’s license that more accurately reflects their gender identity.

Oregon is now the first state to offer a third gender option, an X for “not specified,” on state IDs. It’s for people who don’t want to choose male or female.

“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. “We know gender is a spectrum and some people don’t identify as male or female. 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. Removing barriers for people is critical to helping all of us live healthy, productive lives.”

If you live in Oregon, you can find out more by clicking here.

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