Secretary of State exploring third gender option for licenses

Published: Jan. 13, 2020 at 5:45 PM EST
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In November of 2019, the Michigan Secretary of State's Office made it easier for transgender people to correct their gender designation on their licenses and identification cards.

Now, the office is exploring the possibility of adding a third gender designation for non-binary people who don't identify as male or female.

"We've heard from community groups and people across the state of Michigan who have asked to make this change. And so with those requests in mind, we've reached out the vendor to ask how we would do this and if this would be feasible,” said Michigan Secretary of State Communications Director, Jake Rollow.

The office is only exploring the possibility for now.

If approved, the designation would not be available until 2021, with Michigan becoming the fourteenth state to add this third option.

"So we are exploring whether that's feasible. We currently are in the process of updating our technology system, so we're exploring with the vendor whether that would be possible,” Rollow added.

Shirley Brozzo, Associate Director of Northern Michigan University's Multicultural Education and Resource Center, says the non-binary option would improve many people's lives.

"I think that it'll be very helpful because people then will be able to identify with how they see themselves, and how they present themselves to the world,” said Brozzo.

Brozzo adds that with the changing times, it's important for state offices and organizations to keep moving forward to accommodate all people.

"It's become so global that we have to recognize all people and validate all people; where you're at, whatever your ethnicity is, however you identify, whatever your religion is, whatever it is that makes up each individual person,” said Brozzo.

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