Oregon Allows Person to Legally Declare As Neither Gender

By
A petition to be classified as a nonbinary was passed in the state.
A petition to be classified as a nonbinary was passed in the state.Photo: lubb

A petition has been granted in Oregon that allows a person to legally classify as neither male nor female, but nonbinary. This is the first ruling of its in kind in America.

Jamie Shupe, the petitioner seeking approval, is a retired Army sergeant who was assigned male at birth. As a child, Shupe deeply identified as female, but was discouraged by family from exploring those feelings. As an adult, Shupe began receiving hormone treatments to transition and successfully fought with the military to be given discharge papers that identified them as female. At the age of 49, Shupe began living as a woman, but faced intense discrimination from neighbors. (Shupe was then living in Pittsburgh.)

“I had neighbors yelling at me for being in women’s clothing,” Shupe said. “It was just horrible.”

Ultimately, Shupe moved to Portland, decided they felt most comfortable not conforming to either gender, and began identifying as nonbinary. Shupe has been married to a woman for 29 years and says, “I’m at peace with my biology.”

The judge who made the ruling claimed Shupe’s lawyer was “pushing the envelope,” to which the lawyer replied, “We’re not, really. The envelope just needs to get bigger.”