I often talk about we LGBTQ folks are all in the same boat together, but not on the same deck. Some of us face more challenges than others. As a healthy, sefl-employed, legally partnered, cisgender, white gay guy in rural PA, I face few risks in housing, employment, and in public. But there is an epidemic of discrimination and violence for lots of LGBTQ folks in the USA. Transgender women of color, who currently have a significally lower life expectance, face a slew of troubles in every area of life.
Similarly gender non-binary people face multiple legal and social challenges all over the USA and beyond. Today it just got better. We hear good news out of California where Governor Jerry Brown has signed several bills into law that will ensure fairness and equality for LGBTQ Californians including a bill that will allow for a nonbinary gender marker on state issued IDs, a bill of rights protecting LGBTQ seniors, and an update to the state’s HIV criminalization laws.
SB 179, the Gender Recognition Act, will create a nonbinary gender marker option for state issued IDs and streamline the currently burdensome process for transgender people to change their gender markers.
Mark Snyder, Director of Communications at the Equality Federation in San Francisco said,
I’ve never been more proud to live in California, and I can’t wait to change my driver’s license to reflect my nonbinary gender. “Nonbinary and transgender people are your friends, family, and neighbors. We are part of the fabric of this state and nation. This commonsense law will eliminate unnecessary barriers for people like me, enabling us to live free from the discrimination we endure when our IDs don’t match our true selves.
I add my voice along with Equality Federation in thanking to the Governor for his steadfast allyship, and congratulates Equality California, Transgender Law Center, and all of the advocates and families who worked so hard for these victories.
Learn more about this bill and what it means over at Equality Federation.