On Sunday Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill that made California the first state to officially recognize a third gender.
Now, Californians can identify as male, female, or nonbinary on legal documents like driver’s licenses and birth certificates. The bill, which is known as Senate Bill 179, also makes it easier to change the gender listed on a birth certificate, removing a requirement that a doctor must provide a statement for a gender change. The bill will go into effect in 2019.
The bill’s co-author Sen. Toni Atkins said in a statement to Buzzfeed, “I want to thank Gov. Brown for recognizing how difficult it can be for our transgender, nonbinary, and intersex family members, friends, and neighbors when they don’t have an ID that matches their gender presentation.”
Last year Oregon legally recognized “nonbinary” as a gender. This year Washington, D.C. began offering non-binary drivers licenses, and New York is considering similar legislation, so we’re beginning to see a slow, country-wide change when it comes to allowing a third gender on documents.