January 17, 2021 The Newspaper Serving LGBT Los Angeles

California Welcomes Third Gender Option on Driver’s Licenses, State IDs

A third gender option is now available on California driver’s licenses and state identification cards. This is a major victory for non-binary or gender non-conforming folk, as it could help set precedent for nation-wide reforms.

California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) began issuing IDs on Wednesday, Jan. 2 to non-binary residents, who identify as neither male or female, assigning them an “X” marker instead of the traditional “M” or “F”.

The new California law is part of a recent wave of changes in states throughout the U.S. that have made it easier for transgender, gender-nonconforming and intersex people to have accurate documents that recognize their identities.

California estimates that about 54,600 people will seek an ID gender change in the first year of the new law, according to Artemio Armenta, a DMV spokesperson. The new law allows people to “self certify,” which means medical records are unnecessary to make the change to the ID. This will also make it easier for trans people to change their IDs to male or female since the process previously required doctor’s notes. The state estimates roughly 20,000 people will seek gender changes each subsequent year, Armenta said in the Guardian.

“Having an ‘M’ or ‘F’ marker on that piece of identification that is used so frequently is really like being forced to carry around a lie about who you are,” she said.

“I’m glad that finally non-binary people are recognized, that we exist,” said Alon Altman in the Guardian.

Altman is genderqueer and was one of the first people in line to get their new ID. Altman, who uses gender-neutral “they/them” pronouns, said the document provided a “formal rebuttal to bigoted people who continue to assert that ‘there are only two genders,’” according to the Guardian.

“Now, I have an official paper that says no,” Altman said.

Oregon was the first state to adopt the “X” marker for state IDs in 2017. Several states and cities, including California. have since followed suit and also adopted new rules to allow non-binary people to have gender-neutral markers on their birth certificates.

Having the correct gender markers on state ID can help non-binary and trans people in daily interactions and transactions where they may be misgendered or denied basic recognition.

“It’s the very beginning of a way larger fight,” Nazanin Szanto, a 25-year-old genderqueer Oakland resident, said to the Guardian. “Non-binary people have been here forever … Now, we’re getting recognition. We’re getting a chance to live slightly more authentically.”

Related Posts

WeHo Renaming The West Hollywood Library

January 14, 2021

January 14, 2021

The City Council of the City of West Hollywood approved an item to submit a request to rename the West...

LA LGBT Center Receives $100K Grant

January 14, 2021

January 14, 2021

The Los Angeles LGBT Center has been awarded a $100,000 grant from the S. Mark Taper Foundation to support the...

Oil Can Harry’s Studio City’s Gay Country Bar Closes

January 9, 2021

January 9, 2021

Oil Can Harry’s, the iconic and beloved gay country western line dancing bar, located in Studio City, is closed for...

LA LGBT Center Administers First COVID-19 Vaccines

January 9, 2021

January 9, 2021

The first of 400 doses received by the Center were dispensed by Dr. Ward Carpenter, co-director of health services at...

2021 WeHo Artist Grant Recipients

January 9, 2021

January 9, 2021

The City of West Hollywood has announced three $5,000 grant awards, totaling $15,000, for three resident artists for its 2021...

WeHo Fighting Climate Change

January 6, 2021

January 6, 2021

The City of West Hollywood is currently updating its Climate Action Plan — an effort called “WeHo Climate Action” —...

The Center Offered Free Meals For Those In Need

January 6, 2021

January 6, 2021

With the unemployment rate in Los Angeles County rising due to the Corona-virus pandemic many are struggling to make ends...

Saving Silver Lake Bar Akbar

January 6, 2021

January 6, 2021

Struggling to survive amid the Corona-virus pandemic, iconic LGBTQI+ hangout Akbar took to a fundraising page to ask for help....

Two New Council Members Sworn-In To The City Council Of WeHo

December 20, 2020

December 20, 2020

The City of West Hollywood has sworn-in two newly elected Councilmembers: Sepi Shyne and John M. Erickson. Each Councilmember took...

Meet WeHo’s New Poet Laureate Brian Sonia-Wallace

December 17, 2020

December 17, 2020

Brian Sonia-Wallace has been named West Hollywood’s 4th City Poet Laureate making him the youngest person to occupy the role. ...

L.A. Makeup Artist Is First Trans Man To Compete On “RuPauls Drag Race”

December 13, 2020

December 13, 2020

The cast of RuPauls Drag Race Season 13 has been announced this week revealing its first trans man contestant will...

Weho Celebrates 30th Annual Toy And Food Drive

December 13, 2020

December 13, 2020

The 30th Annual West Hollywood Toy and Food Drive will be accepting monetary donations until Friday, Dec. 18th, 2020 with...

The Center Long Beach Brings Diversity To The Board

December 13, 2020

December 13, 2020

The Center Long Beach has announced the addition of three new members to the board of directors: Long Beach business...

PIQUE Health – Specialized Treatment Plans to Optimize Male Health

December 11, 2020

December 11, 2020

Beverly Hills-based practice helping men come up with a plan to fully optimize their health Now more than ever, amid...

Local LA Teen Named Member Of HRC Foundation Youth Ambassadors

December 10, 2020

December 10, 2020

The Human Rights Campaign have announced that Nico Craig, an 18-year-old DJ and music producer from Los Angeles, has been...