American University prof first in the U.S. to get ‘gender-neutral’ driver’s license

August 08,2017


An American University alum and current adjunct professor is officially the first individual in the country to be granted a gender-neutral driver’s license.

Nic Sakurai, also the associate director of the University of Maryland’s LGBT Equity Center who uses the pronouns “they” and “theirs,” told The Eagle that to “finally have that corrected and at least not feel excluded based upon that is quite an exciting thing and relief to finally have.”

“I feel like every day of my life I’ve had an I.D. that isn’t accurate to who I am,” he said.

(Curious — given their choice of pronouns, shouldn’t they have said “We feel like every day of our life we’ve had an I.D. that isn’t accurate to who we are”? Sheesh, Jordan Peterson may have a point.)

Washington DC is the first jurisdiction to permit people to mark “X” for gender classification on driver’s licenses.

“Sakurai […] began pursuing the non-binary option for their license in February and met with the Department of Motor Vehicles in March,” The Eagle reports.

“They were pleasantly surprised to find that the DMV had already published more information about the option in a public document, with the policy already in the planning stages.”

More from the story:

Sakurai noted that D.C. is known for having some of “the best trans-inclusive, gender identity and expression rights policies in the country and the world.”
“I don’t think that at the end of the day, that my driver’s license or anyone’s needs to have a gender or sex listed at all,” Sakurai said. “Having options that allow people to put something that is actually accurate is important.”
Sakurai said this legal change means that the government recognizes there are more than just two genders. Sakurai noted that D.C. residents, regardless ofhow they identify, can receive the “X” on their licenses if they decide not to specify their gender.
According to Sakurai, the mayor’s office directed D.C. agencies to issue their own trans-inclusive policies based on the human rights code on Gender Identity and Expression in 2016, with the agencies adopting policies with the templates provided by D.C.’s Office of Human Rights.
With the gender neutral option now offered in the District, Sabrina Hernandez, a senior in the College of Arts and Sciences, hopes to see the option offered in other states.
“I think this is about acknowledging and valuing all identities and it should not be about which city was first, but rather about which cities and states are making positive strides to protect and validate nonbinary people,” Hernandez, who contributes to AU’s Center for Diversity and Inclusion, said.

According to their faculty profile, Sakurai is (are) a “higher education leader and social justice champion” who’s given presentations on “diversity, inclusion, internationalism, facilitation, and leadership.”

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