You can now get a nonbinary X marker on your ID in Indiana
Indiana, the state where Mike Pence was formerly governer, has begun quietly issuing nonbinary IDs. The state has become the latest to offer its residents the gender-neutral “X” marker as an option on driver’s licenses and other state-issued IDs, an Indiana Department of Motor Vehicle spokesperson told NBC News.
The state started issuing the new IDs earlier this March, says spokesperson Susie Geyer. “The ‘X’ designation is in response to constituents requesting a nonbinary marker,” Geyer tells NBC News. “Indiana has joined other states and industry groups, such as the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators, that already recognize the designation.”
This change came as a result of legal action and nearly two years of advocacy. Katherine Wood, an attorney with Indiana Legal Services, has been working to change state policy on ID gender markers since January 2017. Indiana Legal Services threatened legal action against the BMV.
“In a state known for its anti-LGBTQ laws, policies, and politicians, the BMV chose to recognize people with nonbinary genders without a legal battle,” Megan Stuart, the LGBTQ+ project director at ILS, tells NBC News.
At least two people have received the new IDs, Stuart says—and one of them is Ash Kulak, a nonbinary public defender who worked with Wood to advocate for these inclusive IDs.
“I like knowing that I can hand over my ID and not have someone immediately know what a doctor thought about my sex assigned at birth, not have someone from an institution try to confirm their suspicions about what I could possibly be,” Kulak tells NBC News.
Six other states (plus Washington, D.C.) currently allow transgender and nonbinary people to apply for gender markers other than “M” or “F” on their state-issued IDs: Arkansas, California, Colorado, Maine, Minnesota and Oregon. New York City Mayor de Blasio also recently announced that New York City would allow its residents to use an “X” gender marker on its ID cards, six months after the city announced the same option on birth certificates.
Alaina Leary Lavoie
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