There’s Now A Third Option For Gender Identification On Washington, D.C. Drivers’ Licenses

The "X" factor.

When the District of Columbia Department of Motor Vehicles on Benning Road opened its doors Tuesday, it made history by becoming the first DMV location to issue a gender-neutral driver's license. Since the beginning of state-issued driver's licenses, the policy has been to fill out a form that only has two choices for gender identity: male or female. Now, people don't have to be defined by their gender thanks to the "X" factor, which could extend the option to self-identify to some members of the LGBTQ community.

Mayor Muriel Bowser announced the addition of the X gender identifier to drivers' licenses and identification cards, stating it would go into effect on June 27. "Washington, D.C., has long been a leader in LGBTQ rights and gender issues, and this change is the most recent example of our city's commitment to inclusivity," she said in a release. This is one of many changes to the laws and rights of citizens in the LGBTQ community that are long overdue. No human being should be forced to conform to the biological sexes of male of female if neither not how they see themselves or if they may be transitioning and choose to indicate that.

Nic Sakurai, director of leadership initiatives at the LGBT Equity Center at University of Maryland College Park, identifies as nonbinary, and became the first person to receive a gender-neutral driver's license from the DC DMV on Tuesday. Sakurai told CNN, "For me, it's important to have an ID that validates my existence. Where I know that the government recognizes that I'm a person and that I want to have an ID that isn't false." The X identifier allows individuals to have more privacy around their gender, as well. There has been talk about implementing the X gender identifier for months, and the wait is finally over.

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The DC DMV tweeted about its new feature and service, which included a photo of Nic Sakurai:

Sam Sweeney of ABC News also tweeted:

We've come a long way in the U.S. and we still have a long way to go. Folks still have to choose in terms of bathrooms, on other government forms, and airports are a gender-issue nightmare at times, but we've been seeing changes over the past few years that renew hope.

In fact, executive director of the National Center for Transgender Equality, Mara Keisling said, "This is a tremendous first step that acknowledges the experiences and humanity of our nonbinary community members. The District has set the new gold standard for access to accurate gender markers on identification documents in the United States." There is, no doubt, so much more to come from all of this. Oregon will start offering gender-neutral licenses July 1, and more states will likely follow suit.

(H/T: CNN)

Cover image: Mega Pixel / Shutterstock.com

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