Colorado is the latest state to issue “X” gender markers on IDs, broadening the options for trans, non-binary, and intersex people in the state.
Residents of the Centennial State will be able to obtain the new IDs starting November 30.
Daniel Ramos, Executive Director for LGBTQ advocacy organization One Colorado, said the new IDs are critically important for non-binary residents.
“Having a vital document like a driver’s license that correctly reflects your gender is such a basic, yet crucial component to living your everyday life,” said Ramos in a statement. “Yet, non-binary Coloradans would have to choose between a ‘M’ or ‘F’ designation that may not match their gender identity. This has opened up non-binary individuals to being forced to explain their gender identity when it’s nobody’s business but their own.”
Colorado becomes the fifth state in addition to Washington, D.C. to offer non-binary IDs. Arkansas has been quietly issuing non-binary IDs since 2010. Oregon, California, Maine and Minnesota also offer gender marker “X” options.
The Colorado Department of Revenue (DOR) stated that the new IDs are “necessary for the preservation of public health, safety, and welfare.”
The agency also referenced a settlement between the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment and a youth who challenged the state’s refusal to issue him a new birth certificate because he had not had gender-confirmation surgery.
Unlike many states that allow residents to self-identify to obtain the new gender-makers, Colorado requires residents to either fill out a “Change of Sex Designation” form, with a signature of a physician or mental health provider, or submit other government documentation that already has an “X” gender marker.