“Gives me a place to exist” said Jamie Shupe 52-years-old, former Army sergeant, from Portland, Oregon, has won a petition to be classified as nonbinary, the first of its kind in the U.S according to legal experts.
“I have won the right to legally and accurately define my sense of self and who I exist as. The judge has simply made me whole and corrected the injustices that were done to me by the medical and grossly inadequate government classification systems that I was forced to live under. Hopefully I have freed all of those like me to exist not only authentically, but legally.” “This is the greatest victory of my life,”
“I thought it was a reasonable classification for all the people like me who don’t fit under this male or female umbrella,” they said when explaining the gender binary aslo known as “genderqueer”. They (Jamie prefers to be referred to by their first name, using the plural pronouns “they” and “their.”) described the experience as “totally being liberated from the boundaries of being male or female.”
Shupe, born male, identified as female from a young age, and after an 18-year career in the army under the oppressive ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ policy, Shupe struggled with their gender identity and fought to be listed as female on their military discharge.
After receiving hormone treatments and a name change with funding and support from the Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund, Shupe realized neither of the gender identities felt right.
It was after moving to Portland in 2014 that Shupe decided to classify as nonbinary, as “nobody cares who or what you are in Portland.” and his next step is to address the challenge of changing forms for driver’s licenses to include the nonbinary, according to their lawyers.