‘Third Gender’ Movement Says Growth Is ‘Exploding’

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By Emily Zanotti | 2:13 pm, December 19, 2016

It’s boom times for the “third gender” movement!

Organizers of the group trying to persuade local, state and federal governments to give people a box to check on official documents that isn’t “male” or “female” say 2016 was their most successful year ever.

Residents of Oregon and California are now able to designate themselves as “non-binary,” according to NBC News. And so far, two people, who call themselves by the “inclusive pronoun” “their,” have checked “non-binary” on state documents.

“It’s been exploding,” lawyers for the Intersex and Genderqueer Recognition Project told media. “It hasn’t been a slow ramping up—it’s been really fast since [the Oregon resident’s] success in the beginning of the year.”

IGRP’s lawyers say that their Facebook page has received “dozens” of messages from people “around the country” looking to designate themselves as “non-binary,” and that IGRP has already filed petitions in San Francisco to move several cases along.

But despite what IGRP considers forward movement, it’s still not making everyone in the progressive community happy. “Non-binary” people say that they still have trouble finding recognition, even in LGBTQ circles, and that some of the designations (people in the DC’s city government can now list their gender as “unknown”) aren’t specific enough.

Facebook, for instance, lists 58 separate choices under “gender” in its profile questionnaire, including “agendered,” “gender non-conforming” and “genderqueer,” choices that “non-binary” individuals say would be nice to have. Federal documentation like passports still offer only two choices —and the third-gender people are suffering because of it, the group says.

“It’s a painful hypocrisy that, simply because I refused to lie about my gender on a government document, that the government would ignore who I am,” said one litigant challenging the federal government’s passport rules. “I hope the State Department will do the right thing now.”