If you’re in New Jersey and in need of a driver’s license, your options just got upgraded.
As indicated by a Motor Vehicle Commission press release, on driver licenses and non-driver identification cards, X can mark the spot.
Clearly, whereas cities and states previously classified residents according to their sex, gender is the rubric of the day.
And as of Monday, in NJ, there are three:
Gender “X” will indicate a gender is unspecified, and it will be offered alongside the existing “M” (male) and “F” (female) gender choices on licenses and IDs.
To be clear, even if you don’t personally identify as someone without a sex, you can still employ the Xtra option:
This is offered not only to New Jersey residents who identify as non-binary, but for anyone who prefers that their gender not be specified on their license or ID.
Hence, there’ll be no evidence of genderlessness required. Rather than needing someone else to say you’re neither male nor female, you can just say it yourself: The “option is available…by self-attestation.”
If interested, all you must do is fill out a form and visit a licensing center as a walk-in.
Those giving up their maleness or femaleness will have to turn in their old IDs.
Additionally, an $11 fee will apply.
Some may wonder why Frank Sinatra’s home state is so late in 86’ing binary sex.
As it turns out, it’s the virus’s fault:
Originally planned for late 2020, the implementation of a gender “X” option was delayed due to the COVID-19 public health emergency, and it required modifications to the MVC computer system and completing the move to issue licenses and IDs via Central Issuance.
New Jersey’s certainly trying to get things right in the area of gender identity.
As I covered last month, the state’s legislature chose to school 5-year-olds on diversity and inclusion:
According to [a] new law, children in every grade — along with kindergarteners — across the state’s public education system will be given lessons about life.
The instruction — opposed by several Republicans — will promote “diversity, equity, inclusion, tolerance, and belonging in connection with gender and sexual orientation, race and ethnicity, disabilities, and religious tolerance.”
Assemblyman Brian Bergen wasn’t in favor:
“If we as parents want to explain different identities or sexual preferences, then that’s our prerogative and our choice. This is not a decision for the school system, and this is not a decision for the Legislature.”
However, NJ.com noted many believed it was time:
Supporters argued students are already talking about these very issues. Teachers need guidance to help them teach children to accept, tolerate and appreciate differences among them, they said.
Either way, New Jersey was already teaching an LGBTQ-inclusive curriculum — it was the 2nd state to do so.
And now, identity is offered to ladies, gentlemen, and Xs.
“We’re thrilled that New Jersey has joined 19 other states and Washington, DC in offering X gender markers on driver’s licenses and state IDs,” Garden State Equality Executive Director Christian Fuscarino said in the release.
Motor Vehicle Commission Chief Administrator Sue Fulton hailed NJ’s code of conscience:
Diversity and inclusion are core values for New Jersey, and for all of us at the MVC. We know this new option will be deeply impactful for many residents, as access to resources and the ability to live and work freely so often hinges on having documentation that correctly reflects your identity.
Back to Frank, things have certainly changed since his day.
Twelve years after his 1939 New Jersey wedding, ol’ Blue Eyes ended up divorced.
These days, in addition to becoming someone’s ex…you can become your own.
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