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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, June 23, 2017 - Volume 45 Issue 25
Oregon gives legal recognition to gender-nonbinary people
Section One
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Oregon gives legal recognition to gender-nonbinary people

by Mike Andrew - SGN Staff Writer

Oregon has become the first US state to give legal recognition to gender-nonbinary residents.

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown - who is out as Bi - signed a bill June 19 giving Oregon residents a third gender option on their state documents. In addition to 'F' and 'M,' Oregonians will be able to choose 'X' when the law goes into effect on July 1.

Oregon residents will also be able to request changes to the gender markers on their state-issued documents without a doctor's note.

The change gives legal relief to nonbinary, gender-fluid, gender-queer, and Trans people who feel that 'female' or 'male' gender choices fail to capture their identities.

'This change in ID is a huge piece of validation for me,' J Gibbons, a nonbinary Transgender Portland resident told The Guardian newspaper.

'The state of Oregon sees me for who I am,' they added. 'I don't even think 'excitement' can capture all of my emotions about this change.'

Oregon has been a pioneer in protecting gender expression. In March, Patch, a 27-year-old video game designer from Oregon, became the first legally 'agender' person in the United States. Patch does not use pronouns at all and will have no gender markers on Patch's state-issued documents.

Patch also got the right to be mononymous - in other words to be known by one name only, with no surname.

Earlier this month, the California State Senate passed a bill very similar to the Oregon measure, allowing its residents to choose a third gender option on their state documents. The legislation still needs to be passed by the State Assembly and signed by Gov. Jerry Brown.

Californians who want to change gender markers on government documents have to submit proof that they have gotten medical treatment to transition to the gender they identify with.

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