by Ray Hayes

The west coast of America has always been a liberal paradise, focused on challenging societal norms.  Take the state of Oregon for example. Throughout America, states provide two gender options to select from on a state and driver’s license application. As of last week, the state of Oregon now allows for a third option or “X”. The “X” would stand for a non-specified gender, which also makes Oregon the first state in America to recognize a gender outside of Male or Female.  While historic, the question must now be asked if Oregon will be the only state to do so?

The answer is a resounding “No”!

California is currently close to passing legislation known as the Gender Recognition Act that will do the same. The Golden State bill will make it easier for people who do not consider themselves male or female, and introduce the non-gender binary X in identification documents. According to MSN, “A 2015 survey of more than 27,000 transgender people across all 50 states found that 68 percent of respondents didn’t have an ID reflecting their preferred name or gender.” With Oregon and California leading the way, social media platforms are adopting non-gender binary rules as well. Facebook has expanded their gender options to include agender, bigender, cisgender, intersex and two-spirit*.

As more states in the West Coast adapt to gender fluidity, I wonder if more states throughout the US will begin to question whether a third gender option is needed on their identification documents. Only time will tell, but I commend the states of California and Oregon for giving us that third option if need be.