In a ruling that is believed to be the first of its kind within the United States, PBS reports that an Oregon judge ruled on Friday that an individual can legally change their gender identity to "nonbinary."
"As far as we know, this may be the first ruling of its kind in the U.S.," Director Ilona Turner, legal director of the Transgender Law Center, told The Daily Dot. "This is an important step toward ensuring that nonbinary members of our community have access to identity documents that reflect who they are, just like everyone else."
According to the Oregonian, retired army veteran Jamie Shupe began transitioning from male to female in 2013. "I was assigned male at birth due to biology," Shupe told the paper. "I'm stuck with that for life. My gender identity is definitely feminine."
"My gender identity has never been male, but I feel like I have to own up to my male biology," Shupe furthered. "Being non-binary allows me to do that. I'm a mixture of both. I consider myself as a third sex."
In April of this year, Shupe and their attorney filed a petition with the Oregon court to legally designate Shupe's gender as nonbinary. “Oregon law has allowed for people to petition a court for a gender change for years, but the law doesn’t specify that it has to be either male or female,” Shupe's lawyer told CNN.
"It's really exciting for the courts to actually recognize what we know to be true: gender is a spectrum," Nancy Haque of Basic Rights Oregon, an LGBTQ advocacy group, told the Oregonian. "Some people don't identify as male or female."