Oregon is first state to issue nonbinary IDs
June 16, 2017 9:16 AM   Subscribe

Starting July 3rd, Oregon will become the first state in the US to issue driver's licenses and state IDs with three gender abbreviations: M, F, and X.

The change was sparked by a June 2016 Oregon court decision declaring that 52-year-old Jamie Shupe (they/them) has the right to legally identify as nonbinary.

The DMV's website here will be updated June 30 with more complete instructions to change your gender marker to X. While changing your legal gender from F to M or from M to F requires acquiring a birth certificate or passport that matches your new legal gender and/or a co-sign by a medical professional, the current instructions for changing to X are simply "apply for a renewal or replacement, complete the Driver License/ID Card Application marking the desired sex identifier, and pay the applicable fee."

California's SB-179, a bill to create a similar third-gender ID option, is currently making its way through the state's legislature.
posted by The demon that lives in the air (38 comments total) 44 users marked this as a favorite
 
Oregon represent!

May this become normal everywhere, as it should.
posted by fraula at 9:20 AM on June 16 [9 favorites]


Several cities, like Milwaukee, also have this option. I am trans but not non-binary so I have no interest in taking advantage of it, but lots of my nb friends are very happy to get recognition. I wonder what effect this will have on other state paperwork (e.g. marriage certificates).
posted by AFABulous at 9:21 AM on June 16 [2 favorites]


hello ilu oregon

signed, an agender person named X(tina) :D
posted by XtinaS at 9:25 AM on June 16 [9 favorites]


Btw, I am not qualified to comment much on non-binary identities but here's an exhaustive list of links and resources if you'd like to educate yourself.
posted by AFABulous at 9:27 AM on June 16 [6 favorites]


Awesome news! I'm hoping this will have a positive impact on health insurance companies, who require a binary M/F for enrollments. If it's the law in Oregon - and hopefully soon California and more - then insurance company databases, at least in those states, will eventually need to either offer additional options or drop gender as a required field.

AFABulous - they may just do away with them on other paperwork entirely. My marriage certificate (NY state, issued 2016) does not list gender of the individuals at all, and the label for both name fields is "Bride/Groom/Spouse".
posted by okayokayigive at 9:33 AM on June 16 [1 favorite]


This is fantastic. I actually did some work on this, and am very excited to see it happen.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 9:51 AM on June 16 [15 favorites]


I just legitimately did a happy dance at work when I read this. I am already planning on moving to Oregon; this is just the cherry on top as far as that goes, as I am definitely going to be getting a nonbinary license when I arrive.
posted by daikaisho at 10:03 AM on June 16 [1 favorite]


Are there countries where government-issued IDs don't have gender information?
posted by cichlid ceilidh at 10:08 AM on June 16 [1 favorite]


[A few comments removed; please, please really consider harder whether "oh yeah well think about this possible horrible outcome" is the way to open up a thread about nominally good news in an already difficult sociopolitical climate.]
posted by cortex at 10:18 AM on June 16 [21 favorites]


AFABulous: I'd have to go root around in my file cabinet to check, but I'm pretty sure my Oregon domestic partnership lists "spouse 1" and "spouse 2." (We were also given a genuinely hilariously long list of possible ways to change last names, take each other's last names as new middle names, or hyphenate.)
posted by The demon that lives in the air at 10:22 AM on June 16 [1 favorite]


Are there countries where government-issued IDs don't have gender information?

Not sure, but several countries offer X or "other" as an option.
posted by AFABulous at 10:25 AM on June 16 [2 favorites]


I've been following this with great excitement. At least one friend of mine either has this status or will be getting it shortly.
posted by bile and syntax at 10:25 AM on June 16


Good. Some issues of social change require balancing genuinely competing interests. This is not one of them.
posted by praemunire at 10:26 AM on June 16 [1 favorite]


Yay!
posted by Tabitha Someday at 11:25 AM on June 16


In terms of insurance companies (medical, life, auto, etc.), there are practical reasons for them to not abandon M and F designations, and primary among those would be data collection and analysis.

Regardless of how one identifies, there is the matter of underlying biology which must be considered when studying data. Let's take uterine cancer, as an example. If I'm a health insurer, I need to understand how the diagnostic rate of uterine cancer is tracking over time, against costs, and claims, etc. I have to know who among the pool of insured has a uterus, and easiest way to do that is to study everyone marked F.

Can you add a layer? Can you allow people to choose X and then identify their underlying biology as well? Sure, but that's going to cost more in terms of paperwork, tracking, and rewriting software to be able to sift through that new layer.

Let's just get rid of sex designations entirely, you say! Which is not a bad argument at all, but the reality is that is that doing so is going to drive up costs, across the board, for everyone.

Finally, data analysis is very helpful in terms of medical research and invention. I'm very cautious about throwing out the underlying sexual biology with the bathwater.
posted by gsh at 11:32 AM on June 16 [3 favorites]


how about spreading the cost of risk across the entire human pool instead of segregating cost of risk by sex.

The underlying model of a binary sexual biology is based on a constructed belief and is not the direction the science is taking us. Science is quietly tearing down the sex binary model of biology.
posted by Annika Cicada at 11:36 AM on June 16 [36 favorites]


I have to know who among the pool of insured has a uterus, and easiest way to do that is to study everyone marked F.

Can you add a layer? Can you allow people to choose X and then identify their underlying biology as well? Sure, but that's going to cost more in terms of paperwork, tracking, and rewriting software to be able to sift through that new layer.


And all the women without a uterus? The fact of the matter is if you need accurate data in this area, you can't use the gender marker. If what you need is a general heuristic, the number of non-binary people is likely small enough that you can lump them into one pool or the other (which is what's already happening) and it won't be noticeable in the noise that's already there.
posted by vibratory manner of working at 11:40 AM on June 16 [13 favorites]


there is the matter of underlying biology which must be considered when studying data.

It's a lot more complicated than that. The "underlying biology" of three different people assigned female at birth might be entirely different, depending on that person's use of hormones or surgical transition methods. This changes the level of risk for patients for diseases that are erroneously considered "male" or "female." Uterine cancer is a risk if you have a uterus. Your gender identity has nothing to do with it.

On preview, yes, Annika Cicada has it.
posted by libraritarian at 11:44 AM on June 16 [15 favorites]


The "underlying biology" of three different people assigned female at birth might be entirely different, depending on that person's use of hormones or surgical transition methods.

Not to mention that some people assigned female at birth, who identify as female, and who are otherwise phenotypically normal or average don't have a uterus, either because of *looks up term* mullerian agenesis, or CAIS, or other conditions. There will not be very many of these people, but it's not like trans people are common either.

Do non-trans XX men have any (proto-)uterine or (proto-)cervical tissue?
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 12:02 PM on June 16 [7 favorites]


If I'm a health insurer, I need to understand how the diagnostic rate of uterine cancer is tracking over time, against costs, and claims, etc. I have to know who among the pool of insured has a uterus, and easiest way to do that is to study everyone marked F.

If you're a health insurer, you can probably afford to add "Has a uterus? Y/N" to your files.
posted by Etrigan at 12:09 PM on June 16 [20 favorites]


I am excited about this and also not gonna go for it until I see how it integrates with federal databases. But it's a good start.

(Also gsh not to be a dick but your assumptions around biology and data analysis make me want to double down on removing sex from drivers' license because: my God)
posted by nixon's meatloaf at 12:28 PM on June 16 [17 favorites]


how it integrates with federal databases

I hope this isn't too invasive, but if you're willing to share, I'm curious what you mean by that. Are you worried the potential complication of having one gender in the (say) social security database and another in the Oregon one? Or the X marker turning into "watchlists"? Or something else?
posted by R a c h e l at 12:32 PM on June 16


I'm about as straight whitebread boring as it gets but really really really want an X.
posted by sammyo at 12:38 PM on June 16 [1 favorite]


Go, go, Oregon! What glorious news!
posted by palmcorder_yajna at 12:55 PM on June 16


(nixon's meatloaf: Agreed entirely.)
posted by XtinaS at 12:57 PM on June 16 [1 favorite]


I'm about as straight whitebread boring as it gets but really really really want an X.

It's not a reserved namespace for enby/trans folx only. It's available to everyone.

I think it would be awesome if everyone defaulted to X and had to opt into a binary myself.
posted by Annika Cicada at 1:11 PM on June 16 [23 favorites]


I got married in Oregon this year and while the two people marrying are bride/groom/spouse 1 and bride/groom/spouse 2 they still ask for your mother and father's names on the license.

I was actually a bit surprised it didn't ask for parent 1/2. There are certainly people with two legal mom's or dads getting married by now.
posted by vespabelle at 1:18 PM on June 16


The latest version of USCIS Form I-130 asks for Parent 1 and Parent 2, and each is followed by male/female check boxes.

(It also has about a million shortsighted stupid problems that didn't exist on older versions of the form, but heterosexism isn't among them.)
posted by Faint of Butt at 2:11 PM on June 16 [1 favorite]


R a c h e l - your guess of "the potential complication of having one gender in the (say) social security database and another in the Oregon one" is precisely on the money. What happens to my health insurance, passport, and social security genders (all separately maintained) now that a match is impossible under present circumstances? Changing your gender in those systems is already a convoluted pain in the ass with potentially significant consequences if things don't look right to bureaucrats.

Anyone prescribed testosterone cyprionate in my home state is already on a watch list, so there's that.
posted by nixon's meatloaf at 3:29 PM on June 16 [1 favorite]


Anyone prescribed testosterone cyprionate in my home state is already on a watch list, so there's that.

Because it's a CIII (scheduled substance) I assume? I've dealt with controlled prescriptions but I have to admit I hadn't considered the implications of this for people who take hormones - for one thing from what I've heard these days doctors are given a pretty minimally bounded ability to spy on what you're taking and when/where you get it.
posted by atoxyl at 5:25 PM on June 16




Yeah I heard about the extent of this stuff when my doctor candidly described her access - as in "can you believe they just let me see all this?" I don't even really want to think about what happens when LE comes into it. Ugh.
posted by atoxyl at 7:15 PM on June 16 [1 favorite]


Brovo/Brava Oregon!
posted by james33 at 5:36 AM on June 17


My first reaction is that this is just purely to the good and hopefully will spread. I do wonder, though, if other forms of state- and locally-administered identification in Oregon follow, or stay binary? There will probably be a few growing pains, but this strikes me as the kind of thing that will measurably improve some people's lives and happiness and should be celebrated.

This did make me curious to go through my wallet and see which items list gender (well, always as "sex" on the cards) and which don't. My only Oregon-issued card currently is a concealed handgun license, which interestingly does not list gender/sex, even though the application form requires it. Everything I have that is federal (passport card, etc) has the space for M/F.
posted by Dip Flash at 5:52 AM on June 17


Brovo/Brava Oregon!

Bravx
posted by Faint of Butt at 8:34 AM on June 17 [5 favorites]


I think it would be awesome if everyone defaulted to X and had to opt into a binary myself.

That's an interesting way to force people to think about it. What if someone didn't choose your gender for you?

And wrt health data, my risks have changed since I started taking testosterone. My levels are within the average cis male range, and my risk of heart attack and stroke is the same as a cis male's, all else being equal. I'll never get prostate cancer, but I'll also never have a child. So I basically confound a lot of statistics if you just go by what's on my birth certificate. Trans people are still a small percentage of the population but as awareness increases and access to healthcare improves, we'll be a larger group and will end up being statistically significant (if we're not already).

I strongly think medical forms should have a more detailed questionnaire or decision tree instead of a M or F checkbox. I've always had to cross out the menstruation and pregnancy sections, and now I can cross off the breast/mammogram section. Honestly, I don't tell most medical professionals I'm trans unless it's relevant, which it rarely is. (e.g. my physical therapist, my dentist)
posted by AFABulous at 10:29 AM on June 17 [6 favorites]


This is fantastic news. Go Oregon!
posted by daybeforetheday at 3:57 PM on June 17


Actuary here. This thread might be dead but I would like to belatedly respond to the "what about insurance??" comment. This is not an issue, because all you need to do is collect data from people labeled "X" and then do an experience study on that cohort for your projections. Finding trends in data is part of what insurance actuaries do; we don't need to fret about them.
posted by Frobenius Twist at 6:50 AM on June 30 [3 favorites]


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