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Tuesday, 09 April 2019 23:39

Vermont to offer gender-neutral IDs from this summer

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Vermont will become the 10th State to offer driver’s licenses and identification cards with three gender options.

In fact, last January, the Vermont Department of Motor Vehicles announced plans to provide ID cards with three options: “M”, “F” or “X” available for transgender, intersex, and non-binary people.

They recently confirmed this announcement and the third option should be accessible as of this summer.

In 2015, the NCTE’s survey showed that only 8% of trans and non-binary people in Vermont had updated their identity documents based on their preferred name or gender. They said that the procedure was not only complicated but also very expensive.

But the Organization’s research has revealed the importance of proper identification.

A quarter of the interviewees said they have been “verbally harassed, denied benefits or service, asked to leave, or assaulted” after they presented their non-updated ID card.

“When an ID does not match the gender identity or expression of the holder, the person can be exposed to potentially uncomfortable situations,” said DMV Commissioner Wanda Minoli in a statement on the Vermont DMV website.

“Thanks in large part to the hard work of Vermonters in the LGBTQ community, we saw an opportunity to allow a third gender option for increased safety and inclusion of all Vermonters.”

The Department worked with the LGBTQIA Alliance of Vermont, which suggested the “X” marker as a third option.

“Vermont is a state that prides itself on individualism and freedom,” said Statehouse Liaison for the LGBTQIA Alliance of Vermont, Brenda Churchill.

“To have a third gender designation on one of the first legal documents a Vermonter can possess that indicates they do not identify as male or female is recognition they exist — legally and fully — in society.”

This measure received the approval of Governor Phil Scott who stated in the DMV’s release:

“Offering a third gender option on driver’s licenses is consistent with our Vermont values of inclusion and acceptance. Obtaining a driver’s license that correctly reflects who you are is something we may take for granted. This change is an important step forward in advancing equality for LGBTQ Vermonters.”

Vermont will join the other nine States - Arkansas, California, Colorado, Indiana, Maine, Minnesota, Oregon, Utah, and Washington - to allow three options on identity documents.

The District of Columbia is offering a third gender marker on driver’s licenses and New York City allows it on birth certificates.

Well done Vermont! It feels good to see that the Vermont Department of Motor Vehicles will provide gender-neutral IDs for LGBTQ residents.

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Lezbelib is the online magazine that helps LGBTQ+ women to stay updated with entertaining blogs and breaking news about LGBT rights.