Confirmed: Vermont Will Offer an X on Driver’s Licenses by July 1st, 2019

Back in early 2018, it was reported that the Vermont Department of Motor Vehicles had looked into offering a third gender option on driver’s licenses and had determined that there were no legal obstacles–so, Vermont being Vermont, they said they’d go ahead with it.

Then more than a year passed, and nobody heard anything. I contacted the DMV twice about this and got a response only to one of the messages (the response was “I don’t know what you’re talking about”).

So a few weeks ago, I touched base with the Vermont news organization Vermont Digger and suggested they look into the story. They felt it was newsworthy, so reporter Ellie French interviewed DMV head Wanda Minoli, and yes, a gender neutral marker is coming! The DMV is rolling out a new, higher-security license by July 1st of this year, and it will include an “X” option corresponding to “other” for gender.

The Vermont Digger article (and other articles I’ve read) did not specify what a person would need to do to get the X on their license. According to transequality.org , in order to switch between M and F on their driver’s licenses, binary transgender people must get “a written letter from a physician stating that gender change is complete and the date of completion.” That’s terrible. I hope we can get this law changed in the near future to be less oppressive and surgery-centric!

However, as far as the nonbinary or X marker is concerned, when I followed up with the Digger, I found out that Minoli has stated that it would be simply filled in by the applicant, like height and weight. Rock on, Vermont!

Recommended podcast: Gender Rebels

I have to admit that my first reaction, on hearing the introduction to The Gender Rebels Podcast, which is mainly about trans and nonbinary topics, was surprise that while one host is a trans woman, the other is a cis woman (though also, as she mentions, an ally). On hearing a few episodes, though, I’m realizing what a good idea that was. Not only do Faith and Kath have great podcasting chemistry (among other kinds of chemistry: they’re also longtime romantic partners), but Kath (the cis host) provides a really useful point of view.

Faith and Kath — both adorable, which you can tell even from just hearing them

For example, take the episode called “What’s It Like to Be Cis?”: that’s a question I’m honestly curious about, and one neither Faith nor I can answer. Or the episode on chasers: Kath asks exactly the questions that need to be asked, like (my paraphrase) “What could be the problem with straight cis guys who are into trans women?”

Of course, as much as I enjoy Kath, Faith is the person I’m most interested in: like a lot of us, she’s come up a long and twisting path to get to who she is, and she knows things about gender rebellion that I want to learn.

One of the things I like about the podcast is that Faith’s and Kath’s voices are not completely dissimilar, so some of the time, I have trouble figuring out whether it’s a cis woman or a trans woman speaking. That’s a reassuring kind of uncertainty, for me, even though like most questions of passing, it’s also a little embarrassing for me to even care about how traditionally feminine a person’s voice sounds.

So, looking for something interesting to listen to? They’ve got episodes going back to 2016 and are podcasting weekly: dive in.

By the way, Kath and Faith’s use of the term “Gender Rebels” is not connected with my site’s tagline or with the imprint under which my book was published (Gender Rebel Press), except perhaps in spirit. They were using the term before I was, but hopefully are not concerned that I came to the same idea they did for a phrase that sums up a lot about living as a non-cis person in this world.