On Friday, an Oregon circuit court ruled that resident Jamie Shupe could legally change their gender from female to nonbinary, the first known ruling of its kind in the U.S.
The Daily Dot spoke with Shupe about their petition for a sex change, as it is labeled by the court. Shupe filed the petition on April 27, bringing letters from primary care doctors to support their gender identity:
Shupe, who prefers not to use gender pronouns altogether, uses the honorific ‘Mx.’ and is an Army vet who began a gender transition in 2013 at age 49. Assigned a male gender at birth, Shupe initially petitioned to change their gender from male to female, then from female to nonbinary.
At the moment, it’s unclear how the court’s decision will play out in terms of identity documents. Shupe told the Daily Dot their “first goal is to tackle the Oregon DMV.” But even if the state agrees to issuing a nonbinary driver’s license, federal identity documents currently only allow for male or female gender markers.
The case may serve as a stepping stone to change federal policy, and recognition of people along the gender spectrum in other states. While elated for their own gain in the decision, Shupe is also thrilled about what this will mean for nonbinary people everywhere, saying, “This is incredibly humbling to be the first person to accomplish this... I hope the impact will be that it opened the legal doorway for all that choose to do so to follow me through. We don’t deserve to be classified improperly against our will.”