While Oregon is the first USA state to offer the option, the "X" is also in use in Australia, New Zealand and the Canadian province Ontario.
An employee of the advocacy group Basic Rights Oregon hands out stickers during an Oregon Driver and Motor Vehicle department public hearing on the rights of transgender people as the state considers adding a third gender choice to driver's licences and identification cards, in Portland, Oregon, May 10, 2017.
According to Amber Ferguson of the Washington Post, the Commission's decision "became inevitable" after an or judge allowed 52-year-old Jamie Shupe to legally identify as non-binary in June of last year.
SALEM, Ore. (AP) In a move hailed by LGBT rights groups, OR became the first state in the USA on Thursday to allow residents to mark their gender as "not specified" on applications for driver's licenses, learner's permits and identity cards.
"I've trembled with the fear of failure and cried tears until I had no more tears to cry, because of the magnitude of what's been at stake - and now won", Jamie Shupe, who in June 2016 became the nation's first person to legally change his gender to non-binary, told NBC News.
Governor Kate Brown, who is out as bi and who signed the bill into law, made history previous year when she became the first out LGB person to win election as governor of a USA state. Drivers can now choose if they're male, female, or x.
"Gender identity refers to a person's internal sense of being male, female, or something else", according to the American Psychological Association.
One commissioner said, "I hope those who will use "X" as an identifier will feel an element of comfort moving forward". "And then I'll no doubt stand out front of the building, or sit in the auto, and cry", they told Reuters.
According to the Williams Institute at the University of California-Los Angeles, an estimated 20,000 Oregonians identify as transgender - about 0.65 percent of the state's overall population, making it the state with the seventh-highest trans population in the country. "I'm a mixture of both", Shupe said. The "X" is for not-specified.
Last year, intersex activist and Navy veteran Dana Zzyym sued the federal government for the right to choose a third gender on their passport.