History was made on Thursday when the Oregon Transportation Commission announced it would allow residents to identify as "nonbinary," as neither male or female on their drivers licensees and identification cards, becoming the first state to do so, according to the Oregonian. The initiative, which begins July 1, will allow Oregonians to chose "X" as their sex instead of "F" or "M."
Applicants, however, will have to pay replacement or renewal fees if they wish to update their licenses.
The rule changes could affect up to 20,000 Oregonians who identify as transgender. They say the adjustments validates their identities and makes them feel safer when they hand their IDs to authorities working at airports, health clinics, and even bars.
Unlike many government testimonies that could come off as dry, Tom McClellan, the division administrator for the department, said that people shared their stories on the stand, and that's what made all the difference.
They told us of their struggles so we would understand the need.
Commissioner Sean O'Hollaren said he embraced the state's changes.
"I hope those who will use X as an identifier will feel an element of comfort moving forward," he added. "It's something we're not only doing because legally our hand is forced. It's something we should do because it's the right thing to do."