Non-Binary Recognition Only 1st Step

Genie Lee, News Editor

In the conversations we have about gender, often times we discuss the issues of sexism and unfair discrimination regarding males and females. But rarely do we discuss the suppression of non-binary people.

However, with the Gender Recognition Act passed this fall by California State Governor Jerry Brown, people who have been disregarded and overlooked for years are now beginning acknowledged.

“Non-binary” is a term used to classify people who do not exclusively identify themselves as male or female. The bill allows residents in California to submit “non-binary” as a gender on driver’s licenses, state identification cards, and other legal documents. It also makes it easier for transgender people to change their gender identification on official documents such as birth certificates.

The state of California will now legally recognize non-binary as a 3rd gender and the law will be officially implemented next year.

Look at all of this progress! We’ve come so far as a nation!

Hate to burst your bubble, but this bill is only the beginning of a long process of giving representation to those who have been deprived of it.

Don’t get me wrong, we have come a long way; abolishing slavery, giving women the right to vote, and legalizing gay marriage. But when you look beyond all of these issues that have been “solved” on paper, we end up realizing that these problems have not been even remotely solved.

Everywhere I look, discrimination and prejudice still exist. Stereotypes based on race, gender, or different backgrounds persist.

As one example out of thousands, according to the World Economic Forum, “the unadjusted average female’s annual salary has been cited as being 78% of the average male salary.”

Living in the 21st century, this fact is simply not acceptable.

As a nation built upon the fundamentals of democracy, it is our duty as Americans to embrace and accept everyone from different backgrounds. With the Gender Recognition Act, we are taking a step forward in the process of abolishing unfair prejudice and stereotypes.

California is not the first state to address the issues of gender recognition. Earlier this year, Oregon and Washington D.C. implemented legislation allowing their residents to identify their gender as “X” on official legal documents.

I hope the Gender Recognition Act sets a precedent for other states and even countries.