SALEM, Ore. — Oregon has become the first state to allow residents to identify as neither male or female on their driver’s license and identification card.
Beginning on July 1, residents can select an “X” for their gender instead of “M” or “F.” The new policy was unanimously agreed upon by the Oregon Transportation Commission.
According to Reuters, the concept was considered after Multnomah County Judge Amy Holmes Hehn last June granted a man’s request to identify on his driver’s license as “non-binary.”
As previously reported, Jamie Shupe (pictured) was born male, served in the military and married a woman. But in 2013, as he found himself struggling with his gender identity, Shupe decided to seek treatments that would make him look and feel feminine.
“I figured I was a transgender woman. My thinking was, well, I’m not a male,” Shupe told reporters. “I was in a deep, dark depression because I had boxed myself into this male identity that I couldn’t stand anymore.”
But after taking hormonal treatments and wearing women’s clothing, Shupe still wasn’t satisfied. It didn’t feel right trying to live as a female.
“Now, I’m suddenly telling my spouse I’m the same thing she is? It didn’t make sense to me,” Shupe told The Guardian. “No amount of hormones is going to make me look like a female.”
He also had no intention of having a sex change operation. So, he decided to be neither.
“I was assigned male at birth due to biology. I’m stuck with that for life. My gender identity is definitely feminine. My gender identity has never been male, but I feel like I have to own up to my male biology,” Shupe told the Oregonian. “Being non-binary allows me to do that. I’m a mixture of both. I consider myself as a third sex.”
Following Holmes Hehn’s ruling in favor of Shupe, the Oregon Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) formed an advisory group about the matter, which included the transgender advocacy organization Basic Rights Oregon. It then penned a proposal and hosted two public hearings to obtain input from local residents.
The DMV said that because most feedback was positive, it decided to proceed with presenting the “X” option on driver’s licenses.
“It’s exciting to see Oregon’s Department of Motor Vehicles adopt this change. We know gender is a spectrum and some people don’t identify as male or female,” Basic Rights Oregon Co-Executive Director Nancy Haque said in a statement on Thursday. “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.”
However, not everyone believes that the “third gender” concept is valid.
“As it was in the beginning, God created just male and female (from Adam’s rib!) Period! No other gender exists!” one commenter wrote.
“No matter what you say you are, you are what you were born as,” another remarked.
“So is the next step to leave birth certificates with a TBD until someone is old enough to express their feelings? Do we not care about definitive biology any more? Identification is nothing more than abstract thought?” a third asked.
Isaiah 45:9 reads, “Woe unto him that striveth with His Maker! Let the potsherd strive with the potsherds of the Earth. Shall the clay say to him that fashioneth it, ‘What makest thou?’ or thy work, ‘He hath no hands?’”
Romans 9:20 also states, “Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, ‘Why hast thou made me thus?’”