Non-binary gender recognition movement makes strides with new petitions

Non-binary gender recognition movement makes strides with new petitions
San Francisco petitioners Xin Farrish and Char Crawford are among those seeking legal recognition of their non-binary gender. Photo: Nancy Crawford

The movement toward the legal recognition of non-binary gender is gaining traction, with additional Californians filing petitions to change their legal gender to non-binary.

On December 2, three members of the Intersex & Genderqueer Recognition Project (IGRP) filed their petitions with the San Francisco County clerk’s office. David Strachan, Xin Farrish, and Xin’s spouse Char Crawford will be represented by IGRP Legal Director Toby Adams at their January 31 hearing.

“We at IGRP applaud these brave humans fighting for the right to be recognized as their authentic selves in all areas of their lives, and we applaud their families for their loving support,” Adams said in a release.

Adams and IGRP advisory committee member Sara Kelly Keenan said they are working with the California Department of Motor Vehicles to discuss non-binary identification on drivers’ licenses. While no specific timeline has been offered, Adams said the DMV “has made a commitment to move forward.”

There appears to be national support for offering an alternative gender designation within the industry. This year the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators introduced “X” as an optional gender designation, though it is up to individual jurisdictions to decide whether to offer that option.

Keenan became the first Californian and second person in the United States to have a non-binary gender legally recognized by the courts. Earlier this month, Keenan was also granted an amended birth certificate reading “intersex,” which Keenan described as “a dream come true in that it acknowledges scientific reality and says society is ready to accept that people like me exist.”

Oregonian Jamie Shupe in June became the first person to receive a court order recognizing their gender as “non-binary.” Shupe also recently received a new birth certificate from Washington D.C.

Intersex Colorado resident Dana Zzyym is also currently petitioning to receive a passport with a non-binary gender designation.

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