As time has gone on, our culture has been able to evolve beyond the more black-and-white-style of thinking that oftentimes plagued and marginalized people of yesterday. We’ve been able to embrace so many previously disenfranchised communities and welcome those who are different than us, giving diversity a whole new meaning. It’s pretty amazing to watch these changes.
One of the greatest legal affirmations of a person’s identity is a government document. A driver’s license provides physical validation to who a person is, going beyond blonde hair or blue eyes or weight.
In this case, the state of California is making history and helping to provide documentation that gives those who don’t subscribe to a specific, binary gender identity a proper license. These changes will help embrace those who aren’t always accepted in the eyes of the government.
The state added a nonbinary option to driver’s licenses, meaning that there are now three identifications for a driver’s gender: female, male, and nonbinary.
California Governor Jerry Brown signed the bill into effect, giving those who subscribe to neither of the standardized gender identities a much-needed change and legal affirmation.
Nonbinary people generally go by they/them pronouns and do not identify with the traditionally rigid gender roles of male or female. This doesn’t make them transgender, but instead, it makes them without gender or without the confines of gender itself.
Nonbinary people will also be able to change their birth certificates as well, making this a major win for diversity.
To change your California license in order to fit with your specific identity, you’ll have to head down to the DMV and fill out the proper associated paperwork. Each state’s process is different, so make sure to check out the California laws on changing your gender on a license. Luckily, California’s policies on the matter are relatively simple in comparison to other states.
Before California, Oregon was the first state to allow a third option on driver’s licenses. Their state government gave drivers a male, female, or X option.
Though not everyone is a proponent of California’s change, it does speak to the constant improvement of our culture for those who’ve been historically disenfranchised. Even something as simple as a driver’s license can change the course of someone’s life, as well as our country’s history.
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