California may become the first state to legally recognise nonbinary gender, pending a review of the California Gender Recognition Act by the General Assembly, according to a Buzzfeed report.
"Accidental activists" Star Hagen-Esquerra, 17, and Sara Kelly Keenan, 55, became the first and second California residents to successfully change their legal genders to nonbinary. In an effort to make the process easier for others who also identify as nonbinary, the two teamed up with Democratic Senators Scott Weiner and Toni Atkins. "My hope for this bill is that actually being nonbinary is a lot more normalised," Star explained.
Once the Gender Recognition Act passes, adults and minors wishing to identify as nonbinary would be able to do so without difficulty on state documents and government issued IDs, while also receiving recognition at the federal level. In addition to adding a third gender designation, California hopes to set an example that will influence other states to pass similar pieces of legislation.
"As the LGBT community — but especially the trans community — is under assault in this country, California needs to go in the opposite direction and embrace the trans community and support the trans community and modernise these laws," Weiner stated back in January when the bill was first announced.
Presently, making the change to identify as nonbinary is only allowed on a case-by-case basis. While a few individual victories have been achieved, the California Gender Recognition Act aims to streamline this process for all gender nonconforming individuals.
Text Abraham Martinez