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California Opts to Officially Recognize Nonbinary Gender

"It’s time for government to get out of the way and let people live their lives authentically as who they are," says state Sen. Scott Weiner.

modified from Elle Ko/Flickrmodified from Elle Ko/FlickrCalifornia will become the first U.S. state to allow a nonbinary sex or gender designation on all standard state documents, including drivers licenses and birth certificates. Democratic Gov. Gerry Brown signed the bill on Sunday, meaning Californians will be able to choose "X" as their official sex or gender.

"For too long society has forced people into gender boxes," said state Sen. Scott Weiner (D–San Francisco), who co-sponsored the legislation with state Sen. Toni Atkins (D–San Diego). "It's time for government to get out of the way and let people live their lives authentically as who they are."

The new law also makes it easier to apply for a gender change on official documents, removing a requirement that applicants must have undergone physician-certified medical treatment toward a gender transition.

"I have dear friends in San Diego and around the state who have been waiting a long time for this," Atkins said after the signing. "I'm happy I was in a position to move this forward."

Atkins thanked Brown for recognizing "how difficult it can be for our transgender, nonbinary, and intersex family members, friends, and neighbors when they don't have an ID that matches their gender presentation" and said she hopes the change will "eliminate unnecessary stress and anxiety for many Californians."

The law goes into effect in January 2019.

Earlier this year, Oregon became the first state allow a nonbinary option on driver's licenses, becoming the first state to do so. For more on why libertarians should appreciate the change, see:

Here's hoping more states follow California and Oregon's lead.

Photo Credit: modified from Elle Ko/Flickr

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  • Citizen X - #6||

    "It's time for government to get out of the way and let people live their lives authentically as who they are," says state Sen. Scott Weiner.

    Wait a minute. A CALIFORNIA State Senator said that? This is so unexpected and mindblowing i can't even come up with a good joke about his name being Weiner.

  • Chipper Morning, Mean Girl||

    Why are there so many Weiners in politics?

  • Citizen X - #6||

    Because the business of politics is fucking people.

  • Half-Virtue, Half-Vice||

    Years of name shaming on the playground conditions a kid to desire being the one who gets to determine who lives and who dies.

  • Rich||

    Because they *can*.

  • Rhywun||

    It's like a Weiner fest in there.

  • colorblindkid||

    This guy is also the guy who is letting HIV positive people knowingly donate blood without letting anybody know they're HIV positive.

    The progressive and LGBT activist communities has long stopped caring about stopping HIV or preventing people from dying. They only care about preventing "stigma" and consider it oppressive and homophobic for somebody to say it's probably not a good idea to go around having unprotected sex with 6 different strangers every week.

  • Hugh Akston||

    You do realize that all blood is screened for HIV (among other things) before and after it's donated, right?

  • BYODB||

    Are you...considering a self-reported question of 'do you have HIV' to be screening before it's donated? Or are you purely referring to medical testing? Because that's kind of an important metric, although you are absolutely correct on the back end. It is all tested, at tremendous cost, after it's donated.

    Of course, the reason why blood isn't (or wasn't) collected from gay men in particular is because they have a far, far higher rate of HIV infection than any other demographic last I checked two years ago. It saves wasted cost on the back end since you don't need to throw out as much after testing.

  • Hugh Akston||

    It's not a wasted cost to test blood for pathogens like HIV, Hepatitis, etc before it goes into other people. Frankly I trust the lab results more than I trust a box on questionnaire saying I'm pretty sure I'm clean.

  • EscherEnigma||

    So then let me donate, eh?

    Cause I can pass any medical or scientific test. The only reason I stopped donating regularly was the "have you had sex with a man" question.

  • BYODB||

    Testing blood that has a known failure rate, if that failure rate is enough to be underwater, means less blood that you can sell while having a higher testing cost overall.

    There is precisely one blood type only that it would be worthwhile to test regardless, and that's because it's a universal match.

    It's a known fact that being a gay man is the #1 predictor of being HIV positive, and that is in an incredibly small demographic slice. It's not a popular fact, obviously, but it's curious that no one bats an eye at a disease that's killing more gay men that hate crimes ever could. Even the gay community doesn't talk about it.

    Curious.

  • Zeb||

    HIV/AIDS was talked about non-stop in the 90s. I think there are two things now: people lose interest in talking about something when there isn't much new to say, and a lot fewer people are dying from AIDS because of effective treatments that keep the disease in check. But I think I've also heard that new infections are on the rise again in recent years.

    I think that the people still worrying about the stigma of AIDS are foolish. It's not that much of a stigma anymore. People for the most part understand how it is and isn't transmitted and that it's not only a gay thing. Maybe I overestimate people, but not treating it like any other disease that it a legitimate public health concern is not helping anyone if you ask me.

  • BYODB||

    I have no problem with blood collection groups that want to be proactive and reach out more to the gay community to help remove the stigma, but I think you'll find that they operate at a disadvantage compared to those that ask screening questions that may be uncomfortable.

    Unless, of course, the gay community wants to make a united effort to drive up costs for blood by lying to the screeners. I don't think that will end well for anyone though and I'd like to think that's a bridge too far for ethical people, gay or otherwise.

    I've been denied donating blood before because of my sexual history as a straight male, and I wasn't upset about it. Not really sure what the big deal is, it's pretty damn logical if you understand risk vs. cost. (For the record, sleeping with certain foreign nationals from certain countries triggers a rejection as well.)

  • colorblindkid||

    You do realize that false negatives are not uncommon, right? He's also trying to keep HIV positive people from having to tell their partners that they have HIV.

  • EscherEnigma||

    And when folks regularly discount the Red Cross when they say "we can safely take donations from gay men", they show that they're not actually concerned about the safety of the blood supply either.

    By the way? The blood donor questionnaire has never cared about how many partners to you have. Straight dude can bang ten women in a week and they won't bat an eye so long and none of them are hookers. I have sex with one guy for the past ten years and I'm banned.

  • damikesc||

    By the way? The blood donor questionnaire has never cared about how many partners to you have. Straight dude can bang ten women in a week and they won't bat an eye so long and none of them are hookers. I have sex with one guy for the past ten years and I'm banned.

    Do you wish to compare transmission rates for women-to-men as compared to men-to-men? It's pretty startling.

  • BYODB||

    That's because having heterosexual intercourse isn't a predictor of being HIV positive. Even with multiple random partners. Are statistics anti-gay, or is it your contention that the facts have been manipulated?

  • EscherEnigma||

    My contention is that statistics are being used incorrectly.

  • cc2||

    Hepatitis can be transmitted in restaurants. When HIV first was discovered, there was a reasonable fear that restaurant workers could transmit it, since they handle food. Since they also get cut, the possibility still exists. The reasonable demand that aids patients not work in kitchens was met with "stigma"! and shouted down. How big a hit would that be to gay employment, to stay out of kitchens? But we can't have people feeling bad, so risk everyone else's life, go ahead. Oh and since Aids patients won't tell doctors either, hospitals now have to take crazy precautions against contamination.

    As to the ID question: when someone is arrested, you need to know which holding cell to put them in. When a person goes to the emergency room you really need to know if male or female. When putting out an arrest bulletin, it is very helpful to be able to specify that you are looking for a man. When vetting hires to work in the locker rooms you need to know what sex they are. It is NOT just a personal matter. The world is made up of men and women and people get pretty freaky if you ignore this reality.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    "For too long society has forced people into gender boxes," said state Sen. Scott Weiner (D–San Francisco), who co-sponsored the legislation with state Sen. Toni Atkins (D–San Diego). "It's time for government to get out of the way and let people live their lives authentically as who they are."

    Weiner coming in here and throwing his weight around, jerking himself off, and still demanding that you get in one of three boxes rather than one of two.

  • damikesc||

    It seems the "living authentically" is actually one of the most complete uses of stereotypes in history.

    Girls can no longer be tomboys. They are now, in fact, boys.

    Boys cannot like a few "girl" things. They are now, in fact, girls.

    This seems like the most idiotic thing in the world, but hey, nothing pop culture supports could be that stupid, right?

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    Just in general I see them say that there is infinite variation in human identity, and then of respecting them as individuals to make decisions they have to subdivide them.

    Probably because group identity has become a major way of identifying value in a lot of Tumblr type circles.

  • Vernon Depner||

    But there's not "infinite variety" in human sexes. There's only two.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    Fine. I didn't mention sex in my post.

  • ChipToBeSquare||

    The question to ask one of these people is "How can you explain that your 4-year-old is trans without resorting to gender stereotypes?"

    A trans 4-year-old is like a vegan cat. It's kinda obvious the cat didn't make that decision on its own

  • Chipper Morning, Mean Girl||

    Yeah, these assholes are like those cruel owners that leave out a tiny little box for their big overfed cat, that tries to sits even though it no fits.

  • damikesc||

    Ironically, you can safely assume that all of the people with an "X" in that field are probably not going to be having sex.

    Ever.

  • Chipper Morning, Mean Girl||

    Nice burn of Citizen X.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    I haven't seen him since that post was made. Coincidence?

  • Citizen X - #6||

    All y'all can eat a bag of dicks. I'm gonna go home and sleep with my wife.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    Good luck Mr. Green.

  • Hugh Akston||

    He was a plant!

  • $park¥ leftist poser||

    Aren't they usually called fruits?

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    I'm gonna go home and sleep with my wife.

    So am I.

  • Zeb||

    Oh, you'd be surprised.

  • Half-Virtue, Half-Vice||

    So the state is letting people play house but how far does it go before the curtain folds back? When gender X goes to jail? The state's going to come in and make a determination, no?

  • Half-Virtue, Half-Vice||

    Then the whole thing implodes in on itself -- the state lets you play at being whatever gender you like until you cross them and they come in strip you of perceived gender and stuff you into one of two concrete and steel bar boxes. Which retroactively makes the whole thing a farce.

  • ||

    Then the whole thing implodes in on itself

    Well before jail and in all kinds of circumstances that, apparently, haven't been considered.

    I'm confused at what exactly stops an XY individual from putting 'X' on their license, seeking FtM HRT, and then playing on the girls' athletic teams.

  • ||

    Will men or women from the TSA feel gender X people up when they are going through security?

  • Citizen X - #6||

    Have you seen who the TSA is hiring? Those people don't have genitals, or even chromosomes.

  • Rhywun||

    I thought sex and gender were two different concepts. My documents all say "Sex", not "Gender".

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    It depends. In formal setting it does, but is conflated in common usage.

  • Rhywun||

    is conflated in common usage

    Of course. You'd think the government's official documents would be a little more scrupulous about these things.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    Sure. Just clarifying because it is a common confusion. No offense meant to you in particular.

  • BYODB||

    You're expecting some kind of logic behind these pieces of legislation, but there is none. It's whatever they want it to mean when they say it, and fuck you for looking for some kind of constant logical argument behind it.

    That's my main takeaway. Either they don't get their own arguments or they are liars. I suspect both.

  • Domestic Dissident||

    Primarily liars looking to push a agenda.

    People who are mentally ill don't need to be enabled, they need to be treated.

  • Tony||

    Unless they can't afford insurance, then fuck 'em.

  • BYODB||

    Nah, I prefer my sexual partners to know what sex they are.

  • Vernon Depner||

    There is no treatment available. Any physician or counselor who suggested any approach other than "transitioning" and "reassignment" to someone suffering from sex dysphoria would be denounced as a bigot and would have their career destroyed.

  • BearOdinson||

    Yep. Look, I am a libertine when it comes to sexuality (among consenting adults). So I don't care how a person identifies internally, which is supposed to be what gender refers to. And I really don't care how they present that gender to the public.

    But, if the government has any business with any of this stuff, it would be about sex, not gender. And among mammals, there are 2 sexes: male and female.

  • Tony||

    Empathy would have you imagining how you would feel if government forced you to identify as female against your will. Presumably that's the turmoil these people endure. And who are you to tell them they're wrong?

  • BYODB||

    It's ok to tell them they're wrong when empirically they are not the sex they claim. All they need to do is look down and objective truth will smack them in the face, or not, as their genetics dictate.

    The gender argument I'm fine with, but when you stray into the realm of madness expect some push back on facts that can be readily ascertained.

  • Tony||

    Look on the bright side, people who identify as "other" are sure to get "special" treatment from cops.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    Do you believe the government has any business with any of this stuff?

  • Vernon Depner||

    I would say rule of law requires government to be able to identify particular individuals as actually being that particular individual. Is not taking official notice of their physical characteristics which distinguish them as that particular person a necessary part of doing that? I suppose some version of The Mark Of The Beast will eventually make that unnecessary, but we're not there yet.

  • cc2||

    There have been localities where police put out a bulletin about someone wanted for a crime and refuse to provide a description, since that might be offensive (obviously meaning the person is black)--but what use is such a bulletin? Likewise if you can't report their sex.

  • Vernon Depner||

    Likewise if you can't report the person is a man dressed as a woman, who, despite their best efforts, usually stand out quite visibly.

  • Zeb||

    The other thing is that the people pushing for legal protection and social acceptance of all of this gender stuff seem to have a pretty fundamental disagreement or inconsistency. Is gender a fundamental characteristic of a person or not? People who think that transgender people really are the other gender, but just have the wrong body seem to be saying that gender is a fundamental, essential characteristic of an individual, but it doesn't always align with biological sex. People who push the non-binary/gender-fluid stuff seem to believe something close to the opposite.

  • Tony||

    It's really about people's liberty to express themselves as they see fit in a biological reality in which sex is not as binary as Western Judeo-Christian norms would have us believe. It's not like we're the first culture to recognize more than two sexes.

  • BYODB||

    Sex is binary in humans. Period.

    Bonus Question: What is the third set of genitals called that are necessarily for procreation?

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    Serious question.

    Is your issue that the current techniques are not good enough? If medical technology advanced to the point that a transgender person could procreate as their chosen sex would you be okay with it?

  • Vernon Depner||

    That "transgender" person would still be either male or female.

  • Tony||

    That's why people started using the word gender for people who didn't identify with traditional sex roles. You're begging questions all over the place. Nobody's talking about fucking or making babies.

  • Vernon Depner||

    "Nobody's talking about fucking or making babies."

    And that's the problem. Sex is about fucking and making babies. We are all male or female depending on which role we are set up to play while fucking and making babies. Our thoughts, feelings, and self-concept are irrelevant to whether we are male or female.

  • Zeb||

    No. Sex has the biological function of making babies. It is about whatever we make it about.

  • EscherEnigma||

    And that's the problem. Sex is about fucking and making babies.
    Which is why grandma stopped being a woman after menopause.

  • Vernon Depner||

    After menopause she continued to be of the sex that makes babies. The fact that she no longer can do that doesn't change that.

    In some cultures, women after menopause are in fact considered to become men and enjoy at least some male privileges. In others, castrated men are considered "demoted" to female status. But, those are matters of social roles, not biology.

  • ||

    I thought sex and gender were two different concepts. My documents all say "Sex", not "Gender".

    What's really going to bake your noodle later on is if binary sex/gender is a social construct, how is M/F/X any less of a social construct?

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    I agree. It is a big issue I take with a lot of this stuff. They claim infinite variation in gender and then attempt to create more and more boxes to stuff it in instead of being laissez-faire about it.

    Also, the conflation of homosexuality with gender issues bothers me. Seems like they should be entirely different categories as they are discussing entirely different things.

  • Zeb||

    Everyone wants an identity for everything. I don't get it. Just be who you are and express your sex/gender characteristics however you like. What do pronouns matter? What's wrong with just being kind of a freak?

    Lumping LGB and T together might have made sense back when being gay was widely considered pathological. But now I think you are right. They are very distinct things.

  • UnrepentantCurmudgeon||

    Back in the 60s we generally thought that "just being kind of a freak" was a good thing. Great times

  • Brandybuck||

    A) There are people without a definite sex. They are called "intersex".

    B) It's not the right feelz to tell someone of indeterminate fluid gender that because they have XY chromosomes, a dick and two balls, and no coochie or ovaries, that they have a specific sex.

    C) This Californya.

  • ||

    So X gets me access to any restroom and locker room I choose (without having undergone any physician-certified transition treatment)? Asking for a friend.

  • Citizen X - #6||

    Well, i can try. No guarantees, though.

  • Domestic Dissident||

    I guess California wants to drive out the few remaining normal families with children that are still left there.

  • ||

    Harvey Weinstein's problem isn't that he's a manipulative scumbag pervert and/or rapist, just that his driver's license is from New York and has an 'M' on it.

  • Mickey Rat||

    Being ugly as sin does not help either.

  • BYODB||

    Being rich as fuck tends to offset that particular detail, as our current President notes.

  • Mickey Rat||

    Yes, but it does not get you any sympathy when the worm finally turns.

  • Citizen X - #6||

    But it does buy you an open-ended ticket to jurisdictions that have no extradition treaty with the US.

  • Rich||

    "For too long society has forced people into gender boxes," said state Sen. Scott Weiner... "It's time for government to get out of the way and let people live their lives authentically as who they are."

    OK, Scott, nice apparent identification of government with society.

    Also, if you want to play that game, what's magic about "gender"? How about government "get out the way" wrt the WoD?

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    The government has far too long stood in the way of my Vampire: The Masquerade group.

  • BYODB||


    "It's time for government to get out of the way and let people live their lives authentically as who they are."


    *Immediately dies of laugher*

  • Vernon Depner||

    Yeah, the entire government of California would have to be disbanded for them to achieve that.

  • Tony||

    This is my Peter, friend Peter! We just now ran into each other, here at the intersexual . . . homosection . . . intersection!

  • TrickyVic (old school)||

    """For too long society has forced people into gender boxes," said state Sen. Scott Weiner... ""

    Like a state that is trying to equalize gender pay? Or any other gender disparity. You gotta put them into a box to get data.

  • Rhywun||

    X is a box, too.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    It's bullshit. Wiener just keeps shoving things into boxes.

  • TrickyVic (old school)||

    Yes X is a box too, but I guess Scott Weiner doesn't know what since society will still be forcing people into gender boxes.

  • BYODB||

    To these types of people, there is nothing outside of the box.

  • Juice||

    I'd check xer box, IYKWIS.

    Did I do it right?

  • Mickey Rat||

    California opts to replace an objective classification with a subjective one. Pretty much just to make the ID holder feel good about themselves.

  • Tony||

    More to piss you off personally.

  • Mickey Rat||

    No, just an observatiom that it is a point of information that has no use to anyone other than the id holder.

  • BYODB||

    Oops, they just made the sex pay disparity impossible to measure. Oh well! Guess they won't bring that up again, right?

    Not that it ever existed in the first place, but it's nice to see they're undermining their own arguments.

  • Rhywun||

    Not a problem. They will now regulate the salaries of M, F, and X, is all.

  • Ron||

    what is the pay disparity for X. new group for government to study, guaranteed job growth through greater regulations

  • BYODB||

    I guess after you shred empiricism there is no limit on what you can claim and be taken seriously.

    Next up: Are CIS shitlords causing the Earth to become flat?

  • Tony||

    So why do you care?

  • BYODB||

    Because it's being used as an argument for paying people differing amounts based on sex, which is ironically the very problem they seem interested in trying to 'fix'?

    In other words, stupid policy driven by stupid people?

    If anything, I should be glad they so readily wave around the retard flag.

  • Mickey Rat||

    For the same reason I care about any situation in which government applauds itself for doing something useless.

  • Tony||

    Useless to you, which is why you shouldn't care. Presumably it's useful to genderfluid people.

  • TrickyVic (old school)||

    I wonder how that affects their Medicaid services. If the gender on your Medicaid card does not match the gender on your claim, claim denied.

  • BYODB||

    Congrats, you just outlined the next 'Civil Rights' issue of the Democrats on the National stage.

  • ||

    Sex is a social construct. Gender-based healthcare coverage is a natural right.

    *furiously massages temples at the plausibility*

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    It's hard to say how these things play out, but the fact of the matter is, at some point, the state will still very much care about your real gender-- especially when they arrest and imprison you, or there's money or free goodies involved.

  • BYODB||

    Or they'll send a girl who thinks they're a guy to a prison for men and let the dice land where they may, although I wager the poor woman that finds themselves in that scenario will find out mighty quick why such divisions previously existed. Or maybe they won't, since there's every chance they're a 400 pound 'man' that has no problem punching a woman in the face.

    *shrug*

    Caveat emptor?

  • cc2||

    Government contracts for female-owned businesses for example.

  • Duke of url||

    Govt is just what we call the delusions we perpetuate, together!

  • Unlabelable MJGreen||

    MASS HYSTERIA!

  • EscherEnigma||

    If you listen to the so-called libertarians every time ENB pays on these things? Yep. Apparently a lot of Libertarianism are really invested in what your government ID says.

  • BYODB||

    If you read closely, it's because the suggestion is never to do away with the ID. Kind of like gay marriage, where instead of taking away a useless and stupid benefit from the majority they just created a new slice of special treatment that will need to be repeated for every deviant group that arises out of the internet.

    It ensures never-ending culture war, rather than solving anything in particular.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    Your Gender Isn't the Government's Business."

    There's a state agency in California that begs to differ.

  • ||

    That's a Federal program through the USSBA, right?

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    California Capital Financial Development Corporation? I assume not. Or do you mean it's managed via the feds? I suppose.

  • CE||

    So why add a third box on state documents? Why not get rid of the first 2 boxes?

  • Ron||

    buracracy needs boxes to funtion

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    This. We don't not tally and categorize. We just tally and categorize more things.

  • Longtobefree||

    "It's time for government to get out of the way and let people live their lives authentically as who they are."

    Well, I am authentically a believer in the second amendment. So I can move back to California now, with my 50 cal Barrett? And thousands of rounds of ammunition? And large capacity magazines?

  • Longtobefree||

    I will pay $200.00 for a ticket to watch the first one of these drivers licenses used to try to get past TSA.

    "I am sorry sir/madam/whatevertthehellyou are, but your appearance does not match your identification. Please step aside. Next!"

    So much for settled science. XX or XY or X? or ?X or ?Y or ?Y -- what's it to be? Maybe roll a D6 at birth?

  • ChipToBeSquare||

    It's already a d20 at the least right now

  • Adam330||

    This will be quite funny. There's a story every other week about some dipsh*t TSA agent that doesn't recognize that Washington DC is part of the United States. It's going to take years of training before they figure this one out.

  • ||

    "For too long society has forced people into gender boxes," said state Sen. Scott Weiner (D–San Francisco), who co-sponsored the legislation with state Sen. Toni Atkins (D–San Diego). "It's time for government to get out of the way and let people live their lives authentically as who they are."

    Now there will be three boxes! Progress! But soon people will not identify as male, female or X. What then? A fourth box? And eventually a 5th, and 6th etc... Glad we are focused on the important things though.

  • ChipToBeSquare||

    I have no doubt that DMV paperwork will soon have an entire page listing gender options, and yet they'll still have to include some catchall "Other" option. Of course that's the least annoying thing you'll encounter at the DMV

  • cc2||

    True story. Used to have my last name hypenated with wife's last name. Move to SC. DMV told me their computer would only accept hyphenated first names ("bobby-sue"). Left. Almost got a ticket from a trooper. Went back and told them take the hyphen out.
    So don't underestimate the pedanticness of gov agencies.

  • ||

    'M' gets a closed fist. 'F' gets an open-handed slap. So, 'X' gets a chop to the throat?

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    Not in my world of progressive gender equality. Everyone gets closed-fist.

  • lap83||

    "It's time for government to get out of the way and let people live their lives authentically as who they are."

    What if you want to live as a Californian whose state government isn't full of pompous busybodies?

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    What if one feels they're more 60/40?

  • Adam330||

    Isn't the point of an ID to provide identifying information so that government agents and others can identify you? If I get to just make it up, then it's not really identifying, is it? This is like letting me say my height is actually 4 foot instead of 6 foot. Or that I'm 100 pounds instead of 400. If it really pains people to put in their actual sex, then the government should just get rid of the box instead of putting in meaningless information.

  • Tony||

    My driver's license weight is rather aspirational.

  • Seamus||

    My driver's license doesn't even report my weight. I guess my state's DMV figured out that self-reported weights were all bullshit, and they didn't want the hassle of weighing license applicants themselves.

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