Oregon recognizes legal non-binary statusPosted: June 13, 2016
On June 10th, there was one small victory for the LGBTQ+ community and allies: A trans-person named Jamie Shupe filed a petition for a gender change in April, in Portland, Oregon, and they were finally in court in front of a judge on Friday. Their attorney, Lake J. Perriguey, has stated, “Oregon law has allowed for people to petition a court for a gender change for years, but the law doesn’t specify that it has to be either male or female. The law just says, ‘change.’ Historically, people have asked for a gender change from male to female and the other way around, but Jamie is the first to ask for the gender of ‘non-binary.'”
This is the first time this has had a successful outcome in the United States. I’d be curious to know whether others have tried before, in other states?
According to the New York Times, the judge, Amy Holmes Hehn, told Mr. Perriguey that he was “pushing the envelope.” And the attorney’s response was, “We’re not, really. The envelope just needs to get bigger.” I love that! The full article can be found here: Oregon Court Allows a Person to Choose Neither Sex. I am psyched. I feel that, within my lifetime, I will be able to do this too.
Another cool thing: A few months ago, The New York Times started an ongoing project where trans-people could share their own stories, in their own words. (I participated in this too. Here’s what I wrote: Kameron.) You can still share your story too: Share Your Story.
Jamie wrote, among other things, about their experiences in the military, all the discrimination they faced, and that although they legally changed their gender and name, the military would not change their ID card. “After a bad experience in the ER of having a female patient bracelet cut off and replaced with a male bracelet that had my old name in front of a room full of people, I asked the Army for a new ID card, and for my gender to be changed in their DEERS computer system. The Army responded with demands that I have unwanted SRS surgery, and that my spouse of 27 years relinquish her military benefits.”
Read the rest of their story here: Jamie Shupe. (At the time of the story, they identified as female.)