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Question of the Month ~ June/July 2019

 

Question: Do any states have gender-netural, or 'Gender X,' driver's licenses?

by Jon Davis ~ June/July 2019 ~ Question of the Month »
Gender identification on state driver’s licenses is traditionally marked either “M “(male) or “F” (female).
Within the last two years, however, 11 states — including Indiana and Minnesota — have begun allowing a third choice: gender-neutral, or so-called “Gender X,” for people who consider themselves non-gender conforming or non-binary.
Former Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton’s administration approved the step last year, while Indiana’s Bureau of Motor Vehicles began allowing it in March. Applicants in Indiana must provide proof of permanent gender change via a certified amended birth certificate or a signed and dated physician’s statement.
Outside the Midwest, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Maine, Maryland, Nevada, Oregon, Utah and Vermont provide the Gender X option. (Maryland joined that list this year with passage of SB 196.)
Gillian Branstetter, media relations manager for the National Center for Transgender Equality, says the Gender X option shields transgender people from a forced outing of their status, and from discrimination — or worse — that can happen if they show an ID that might not match their new appearance.
The center’s most recent “U.S. Transgender Survey” showed that “as a result of showing an ID with a name or gender that did not match their gender presentation,” 25 percent of respondents were verbally harassed, 16 percent were denied services or benefits, 9 percent were asked to leave a location or establishment, and 2 percent were assaulted or attacked.”
Moreover, Branstetter adds, the government has no business tracking anyone’s gender ID on identification documents: “They’re cumbersome in an era when people are assigned Social Security numbers and tracked in so many other ways. The Gender X option allows anyone to remove themselves from that equation.”

 

Question of the Month highlights an inquiry sent to the CSG Midwest Information Help Line.