Washington DC has become the first to recognise non-binary people – and it was no big deal
Washington DC has become the first US territory to hand out gender-neutral driving licenses and ID cards.
In addition to ‘F’ and ‘M’, Washingtonians will be able to choose ‘X’.
Without fanfare, the US capital beat other states like Oregon and California to the honour of being the first to officially recognise its non-binary citizens.
Gender X. People line up outside the @dcdmv to become first in the nation to have an X on their drivers license instead of M or F. pic.twitter.com/sEbmNP0XoW
— Sam Sweeney (@SweeneyABC) June 27, 2017
Oregon broke new ground when it announced two weeks ago that it would legally recognise non-binary people by providing a third gender on official documents.
And earlier this month, California’s State Senate passed a bill which would provide the same recognition on forms, which was a huge step towards parity.
But DC has flown under the radar to cross the finish line first.
Nic Sakurai, an agender Washington resident, was the first American to ever receive a gender-neutral identification form.
They told CNN: “I don’t feel that sense of gender as something that is part of my core innate experience.”
“I’m glad to finally have an ID that actually matches who I am.”
Jay Wu, media relations manager for the National Center for Transgender Equality, also applied for the new ID.
“Before today I was walking around with an inaccurate gender marker.
“This is more accurate, because I identify as nonbinary,” they added.
Washington Mayor Muriel Bowser has been working on developing the policy for months.
She said: “The safety and well-being of all Washingtonians is my top priority”.
Bowser continued: “Whenever we are presented with an opportunity to improve the lives of residents and better align our policies with DC values, I will take it.”
Sheila Alexander-Reid, who is director of the Mayor’s Office of LGBTQ Affairs, put it simply.
“The new gender neutral identifier offers gender nonbinary District residents a gender designation that affirms who they are.
“The implementation of a gender neutral identifier is consistent with our DC values of inclusion and respect.”