If you’ve ever had to fill out a legal form of any kind, you know that, at some point or another on this form, you are required to select your gender. And, for a lot of people, this isn’t a big deal — you pick “F” if you identify as female and “M” if you identify as male. But, if you are someone who identifies as non-binary (when one feels that they do not necessarily identify as a male or female) something as routine as a driver’s license or college application could cause you a lot of trouble, simply because there is no option for you. This is why some California lawmakers are trying to add a third legal gender to official state documents.
I think this is the first time I've ever seen the phrase "third gender" used pic.twitter.com/a24Nxtofze
— Beneziaa (@Beneziaa) May 26, 2017
(This is from Twitch, clearly. But you get the idea.)
According to Buzzfeed, the proposed law would offer a third, nonbinary choice on state-issued documents, like diver’s licenses, IDs, and birth certificates. This would ensure that the whole state recognizes people who identify as non-binary, not just a few courts within the state, and would make things significantly easier for people who identify as genderqueer or were born intersex (which is when someone has both male and female reproductive organs).
This probably won’t come as much of a surprise, but we at Gurl happen to think that this is great. In addition to adding a degree of much-needed societal legitimacy (which often precedes societal acceptance) for people who identify as non-binary, many are saying that it is a “medical reality” for doctors to be able to quickly recognize and treat people based on differences in their bodies.
Another thing that shouldn’t come as a surprise? The usual right-wing blogs and publications — Breitbart, The Blaze, The Washington Times, etc. — are working themselves into a froth over how they view this pending legislation (which, it should be noted, does not personally affect anyone who would not need a third legal gender) as being a threat to their livelihood. In fact, most of the reporting on this potential legislation appears to be coming from conservative outlets that discuss it in varying tones of hysteria, which is probably not great news for the (positive) visibility of the bill.
California is trying to legalize a third gender. pic.twitter.com/B9ouMqJzwz
— Ariana Rowlands♛ (@IamQueenAri) May 28, 2017
So, that’s…discouraging. Still, this movement as a whole shows that there are some tiny baby steps in motion towards genderqueer and LGBTQ acceptance. Even if the bill doesn’t pass, we feel like we can chalk up as a small, necessary victory.
What do you think about this possible third gender option? Let us know in the comments!