Non-binary gender option for MA DL

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FranTastic444
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Non-binary gender option for MA DL

Post by FranTastic444 »

As a result of a software upgrade over the weekend at the RMV, we now have the option of non-binary designation on our driving licenses. Notice though that the field still appears to say sex rather than gender.

CNN report here.
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Re: Non-binary gender option for MA DL

Post by moonshadow »

As far as I know, Virginia driver's licenses have always said "sex" on the card. Interestingly enough so does both of my birth certificates.

*shrugs*
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Re: Non-binary gender option for MA DL

Post by pelmut »

FranTastic444 wrote:As a result of a software upgrade over the weekend at the RMV, we now have the option of non-binary designation on our driving licenses. Notice though that the field still appears to say sex rather than gender.

CNN report here.
That's because sex is the property it describes, not gender.  It still categorises the majority into two sexes but makes allowance for people who don't fit into either category and who previously could not be accommodated by the system without giving 'false information'.  In fact it was the system that was false because it did not accept their true information.

The gender spectrum is a separate thing and anyone who tries to categorise that on an official form is heading for disaster.  Likewise, anyone who tries to associate the sex marker on a form with the other visible markers, such as hair, makeup or clothes will soon discover it doesn't work that way.

The CNN and other press reports are confusing sex with gender -- as usual.
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Re: Non-binary gender option for MA DL

Post by moonshadow »

So I'm curious, on a document like a driver's license that indicates SEX what does the pre-op trans-person indicate?
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Re: Non-binary gender option for MA DL

Post by moonshadow »

pelmut wrote:The CNN and other press reports are confusing sex with gender -- as usual.
CNN is considered a very progressive outlet. I'd cut them some slack here.... gender issues are VERY hard to keep up with. Ask a hundred trans people what transgender means, get a hundred different answers.....
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Re: Non-binary gender option for MA DL

Post by denimini »

moonshadow wrote:As far as I know, Virginia driver's licenses have always said "sex" on the card. Interestingly enough so does both of my birth certificates.

*shrugs*
I suppose at birth there is nothing else to go by ....... at least with the first birth certificate; I am not sure what the second one is for ........ born again?

I looked at my Australian driver's license and there is no sex or gender on it, which makes sense really; what has gender got to do with driving.
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Re: Non-binary gender option for MA DL

Post by moonshadow »

denimini wrote:
moonshadow wrote:As far as I know, Virginia driver's licenses have always said "sex" on the card. Interestingly enough so does both of my birth certificates.

*shrugs*
I looked at my Australian driver's license and there is no sex or gender on it, which makes sense really; what has gender got to do with driving.
I'm not sure what gender would have to do with driving, but apparently sex does make a difference in the U.S. One possible reason that comes to mind is the fact that females get lower auto insurance rates... :roll:
I suppose at birth there is nothing else to go by ....... at least with the first birth certificate; I am not sure what the second one is for ........ born again?
Ha! Well, there are a lot of people "born again" in the states! :lol: But no, the truth is when I first applied for my driver's license as a teenager, we couldn't find my birth certificate so I sent off for another one.. Since then we've found my original one, thus I currently have two.
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Re: Non-binary gender option for MA DL

Post by crfriend »

denimini wrote:I looked at my Australian driver's license and there is no sex or gender on it, which makes sense really; what has gender got to do with driving.
It really doesn't unless you're in Saudi Arabia...
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Re: Non-binary gender option for MA DL

Post by pelmut »

moonshadow wrote:So I'm curious, on a document like a driver's license that indicates SEX what does the pre-op trans-person indicate?
It seems to depend on where you are and what your birth certificate says, the driver's licence usually has to have the same information as your birth certificate.  Some administrations will not allow any alteration of the birth certificate or the driver's licence (which is bad if chromosome tests prove you were mis-classified at birth); others will allow alteration of both documents, even though you have not changed, and cannot change, biological sex. This alteration seems to be a way of mitigating the distress caused by the confusion between sex and gender; by having the sex on your documents that most people think describes your gender, you will be treated as the correct gender.  It is a classic case of two wrongs attempting to produce a right.

Post-op trans-people have had their appearance altered to fit society's expectations, so changes to their documentation are less contentious.  The police don't normally insist on a blood test when checking you against your driver's licence.
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Re: Non-binary gender option for MA DL

Post by pelmut »

moonshadow wrote: I'm not sure what gender would have to do with driving, but apparently sex does make a difference in the U.S. One possible reason that comes to mind is the fact that females get lower auto insurance rates...
My insurer's form had a section for gender, but only allowed the answers "Male" or "Female". I 'phoned them and pointed out that nobody could answer that question because Male and Female were not genders. The lady then asked what my gender was, so I replied "Feminine" and she became confused because I had a male name. I tried to explain but she eventually decided it would have to be sorted out by someone else.

I have no idea what they eventually did about it.
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Re: Non-binary gender option for MA DL

Post by moonshadow »

Thanks for the answer pelmut. I was hoping my question wouldn't be taken the wrong way.

I'm not sure how Virginia handles trans-matters on things like this. On the one hand I would say that like Anthony pointed out it shouldn't matter. On the other hand, if I were to transition to say.... "Andrea" or something of that nature, and passed as a female, yet my driver's license still said "M" I could see that causing some issues with the cops...

But then again on yet another hand.... what right does law enforcement have to dictate over my perfectly legal life choices anyway?

Carry on....
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Re: Non-binary gender option for MA DL

Post by beachlion »

In the Netherlands it was possible since 1993 to delay to register in the governmental database the sex at birth by three months. If it was still not certain after three months which sex a person had, it was marked with "X". There is still no law to have an "X" in official documents like passports or driver's licenses. Recently someone went to court and had the sex indicated as "X". So there is some progress in the Low Countries.
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Re: Non-binary gender option for MA DL

Post by skirtyscot »

Your UK driving licence doesn't state your sex, but it's hidden in the licence number. The number contains your date of birth, in the from YMMDDY. But women have 50 added on to the month.

Is this well known?

And if you change your gender and apply for a new licence, do they change the number?
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Re: Non-binary gender option for MA DL

Post by pelmut »

skirtyscot wrote:Your UK driving licence doesn't state your sex, but it's hidden in the licence number. The number contains your date of birth, in the from YMMDDY. But women have 50 added on to the month.

Is this well known?
It is mentioned on transgender groups from time to time but I don't know if many other people know about it.
And if you change your gender and apply for a new licence, do they change the number?
I believe they do.
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Re: Non-binary gender option for MA DL

Post by pelmut »

moonshadow wrote:... if I were to transition to say.... "Andrea" or something of that nature, and passed as a female, yet my driver's license still said "M" I could see that causing some issues with the cops...
I recently had to collect a parcel, wearing a skirt and with my hair done up in an Alice band; I used my driving licence as identification without thinking.  It gave my male name and had a photograph which showed me with a male haircut, so the assistant momentarily assumed I must have been another person collecting on behalf of the person shown on the licence.  Then, after a brief look of confusion, she gathered her wits and said "Oh! ...Is this you?".  I said it was; at that she seemed satisfied that she had done an adequate check, so she let me have the parcel.
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