a.t. furuya becomes fourth person in state to be recognized as a gender that is not “male” or “female”
San Diego, CA – Today, a court granted a name and gender change to Transgender Law Center client a.t. furuya, making a.t. the fourth person in California and the fifth in the country that is known to have obtained “nonbinary” as their legally designated gender.
“For the first time, I feel seen for who I am and not torn in two directions,” said a.t., a 34-year-old from San Diego who uses they/them pronouns. “Whenever I go to the bank or a bar or the airport, I get anxious about showing my I.D. with its line that says ‘female.’ I never know which box someone will try to put me in, and since I don’t fit either, people often don’t know what to do with me. I know it will take people a while to understand what it means to be nonbinary, but this order means I am not on my own anymore – my state recognizes me.”
The first person in the U.S. granted a legal change to “nonbinary” was Jamie Shupe in Portland, Oregon, who received the order in June 2016. In September 2016, Sara Kelly Keenan, an intersex Californian, became the second person to legally change her gender to nonbinary.
Last month, California Assemblymember Toni Atkins introduced SB 179, sponsored by Transgender Law Center, which would streamline the process for Californians to change their legal gender marker to nonbinary.
“The U.S. lags behind many countries that already recognize not everyone fits the traditional boxes of ‘male’ or ‘female,’” said Kris Hayashi, executive director of Transgender Law Center. “It can be difficult and even dangerous to navigate life with an I.D. that doesn’t reflect who you truly are, and it’s time for our systems and laws to catch up with a more accurate understanding of gender.”
The brief a.t. and Transgender Law Center filed is below, and can be used as a model for others filing for a gender marker change to nonbinary. The court order can be viewed here.
Transgender Law Center is the largest national organization advancing justice for transgender and gender nonconforming people through litigation, policy advocacy, and public education. Transgender Law Center envisions a future in which all people can live safely, authentically, and free from discrimination regardless of their gender identity or expression. www.transgenderlawcenter.org