Many states across the union still force transgender and gender non-binary people to misidentify themselves in terms of gender on official government forms of identification, but another state just joined the group that allows people to identify themselves as something besides just male or female. Non-binary people can now identify themselves as "X" gender on Nevada government IDs, which is the latest in a string of victories for transgender, non-binary, and intersex people in the state.
Specifically, Nevada residents will now be able to opt for "X" as opposed to "M" or "F" for the gender line on Nevada driver's licenses and official government IDs, according to NBC News. And while some states require those who wish to change the gender on their IDs to provide a court order, a doctor's statement, or an amended birth certificate, Nevada will allow residents to self-identify themselves without any additional documentation, the outlet reported.
“The Nevada DMV staff have been working diligently for quite some time in order to offer the nonbinary or ‘gender X’ option to Nevadans,” said Alexandra Walden, a spokesperson for the Nevada DMV, in a statement to NBC News.
At the national level, under the Trump administration, civil rights for transgender and non-binary people have taken hit after hit from the reported push to essentially define trans and non-binary people out of existence in federal law to President Donald Trump's transgender military ban.
With this move, though, Nevada joins a group of nine other states — Arkansas, California, Colorado, Indiana, Maine, Minnesota, Oregon, Utah and Vermont — plus the District of Columbia in allowing people to have gender neutral IDs, according to NBC News. While the National Center for Transgender Equality has labeled the current occupants of the White House the "Discrimination Administration" because of their numerous attacks on civil rights for the LGBTQ community, this is just one of many strides forward that have happened at the state level.
“Up until recently, the gender binary was the norm throughout our society. That leaves a lot of people out," Brooke Maylath, president of the Transgender Allies Group, told NBC. "You want an identification system that is authentic on a bureaucracy point, but also is flexible enough that it allows people to tell the bureaucracy who you are.”
Transgender Allies Group has now successfully pushed for more than one change in Nevada, as NBC News wrote. The move to allow people to change their gender on their ID without additional documentation — like a court order, which can be prohibitively expensive — came because of the group's advocacy, according to the Nevada Current. NBC News wrote that Nevada had already included gender identity to the list of categories protected against employment discrimination back in 2011, and that adding the "X" marker for ID cards has been a long time coming.
“We had intended all along to add the gender marker X, but it was a matter of computer programming,” Nevada DMV spokesperson Kevin Malone told NBC News.
The next step, as some see it, would be to remove gender from government IDs entirely, therefore entirely removing the necessity for people to amend their officially listed gender. As that could still be a ways off in the United States, it's worth noting these small steps forward.