WASHINGTON (WUSA9) - Drivers in the District no longer have just two options in the gender category when applying for a new license.
There’s now a third option -- an ‘X’.
The Department of Motor Vehicles on Benning Road became the first in the District -- and the country -- to issue gender neutral driver’s licenses last week.
J. Sheffield waited in line for the office to open. They were the third person to mark X for gender -- the gender that fits them best.
“For me, it means I have a document that actually reflects my gender, actually reflects my identity as a person," Sheffield said.
The National Center for Transgender Equality worked with D.C. to implement the new policy.
Arli Christian said the new option is more than a symbolic move. In a recent survey its organization found, out of 20,000 transgender people they surveyed, many report facing discrimination based on their government issued ID.
“One third experienced harassment, were asked to leave an establishments, and sometimes were even assaulted -- so some kind of negative interaction from showing that ID that did not match who they are," said Christian.
Sheffield sees this ID as a step in the right direction and wants to see gender neutral IDs made available across the country. Eleven other countries already have similar policies in place.
Sheffield also wants to have the same option on all IDs, including passports, but said it's an exciting moment.
“Having something to point is so important for me, and I'm sure for so many other people," Sheffield said. "It is a very, very important moment and I’m extremely grateful and privileged to be one of the first people in this country to have this ID.”
DC is the first jurisdiction to start issuing gender neutral IDs, but the state of Oregon is a close second. They started issuing them Monday.
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