OR becomes first state to allow third gender option

Male, female or X? Oregon adds third option to driver's licenses

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

OR became the first state in the union to allow a third gender option for non-binary people who don't identify as a man or woman. The third option - a non-binary gender - will be reflected with an X starting July 3, 2017. The new policy represents a unanimous move Thursday by the Oregon Transportation Commission, reports Reuters, and goes into effect July 1.

The step forward was prompted after, last June, a judge decided that OR resident Jamie Shupe (in the photo above) had the legal right to identify as non-binary.

In addition to "F" and "M", people will be able to choose "X".

"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.

The process of adding the X option was kicked off last summer by a court order from the Multnomah County Circuit Court after a judge ruled that Army veteran Jamie Shupe could legally change genders from female to non-binary.

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"In order to comply with the order, [the Department of Motor Vehicles] needed about a year to implement the change", the department said in a statement Thursday.

According to the Williams Institute at the University of California-Los Angeles, an estimated 20,000 Oregonians identify as transgender - about 0.65 percent of the state's overall population, making it the state with the seventh-highest trans population in the country.

OR is among the handful of states in the vanguard of transgender and LGBTQ rights.

Meanwhile, India, Bangladesh, Australia, New Zealand and Nepal already recognize non-binary genders. "It's something we should do because it's the right thing to do". The state Senate is considering a bill that would allow residents to identify as non-binary on all official state issued documents, including birth certificates. The California Family Council, a conservative Christian group, opposes it, arguing that "government documents need to reflect biological facts for identification". According to David House, a DMV spokesperson, "There was very little opposition" to the change. "I consider myself as a third sex".

"My gender identity is definitely feminine".

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