This year, Oregon became the first state to allow residents applying for a driver’s license to identify as neither male or female, instead getting an “X” in the gender field on their ID.
Supporters of transgender rights argue the change will make transgender citizens safer in public places where they are asked to show ID, such as restaurants, bars, health clinics or airports. Transgender people have reported being harassed after showing an ID that lists a gender that doesn’t match their appearance.
Others argue that the policy accurately reflects the fluidity of gender identity, since some citizens do not identify as either male or female.
The change was made by the Oregon Department of Motor Vehicles, not the state legislature, as state law doesn’t require listing gender on driver IDs.
A similar policy has already been put into place in Washington, D.C. , and California’s state legislature is considering the policy not just for driver’s licenses but for birth certificates.
There is no effort to change how New Hampshire handles gender on driver's licenses.
Critics contend that the policy could make it harder for police and prosecutors to identify people in court.
Others argue that state issued IDs should use stricter criteria to determine a person’s gender, such as their chromosomal sex, reproductive organs, or the sex listed on a birth certificate.
Should NH allow people to identify as “X” instead of male or female on their driver’s licenses? Share your opinion in the comments below.