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Oregon Judge Grants Person First No Gender Status
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Summary: A Portland resident made history by becoming the first legal “agender” person in the country.

Transgender rights are a hot topic in the United States right now, but this month an Oregon judge made history by quietly granting a nongender person the right to be neither a man or a woman.

  
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According to NBC News, 27-year-old video game designer Patch (no last name) was granted the right to identify as “agender” on all legal documents. This makes Patch the first legally agender person in the United States.

“This is the first time that Sylvia Rivera Law Project has heard about this, and we applaud the court recognizing the person as they are,” transgender activist and attorney Kyle Rapiñan said. “We hope that other government agencies will help people self-determine their gender identity, which also includes the option to identify without a gender.”

On March 10, Judge Amy Holmes Hehn of Multnomah County Circuit Court granted Patch of Portland a “General Judgment of Name and Sex Change,” which allowed Patch to become genderless. Patch was also allowed to make Patch’s name mononymous, meaning Patch had only one name instead of a given name and surname.

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“I made these decisions, like all decisions, because they were supported by facts and law, and out of respect for the dignity of the people who came before me,” Holmes Hehn said.

Patch told NBC News that Patch did not like being called “he” or “she” but instead wanted to be referred by name.



Even gender-neutral pronouns don’t feel as if they fit me. I feel no identity or closeness with any pronouns I’ve come across,” Patch said. “What describes me is my name.

Patch’s agender case is different from a transgender or genderqueer case because Patch sought to remove all traces of gender identity, which is the expression of being a male or female. The term agender does not refer to “sex,” which is the biological features of chromosomes, hormones, and genitalia.

“As a kid, probably starting around age 6, gender didn’t make sense to me,” Patch said to NBC News. “I was told ‘men were this, women were this.’ As a teen I learned about transgender people, and that didn’t seem like what I was. And then I learned about genderqueer, and that didn’t seem like what I was.”

In this country, transgender civil rights have been on the forefront of people’s minds. In certain areas of the South, legislators have tried to prohibit transgender people from using the bathroom of their choice. Instead, they wanted to require them to use the bathroom of the sex in which they were born. In February, President Donald Trump removed transgender students’ rights to use the locker room and bathroom of their choice.

Transgender refers to a person who does not identify with the sex in which they were born. Genderqueer refers to a person who does not identify with traditional gender distinctions.

Judge Holmes Hehn had previously presided over a non-binary gender change case last year, and she has made a reputation for herself as someone friendly to the LGBTQ community.

The 2016 decision concerned a Portland citizen named Jamie Shupe who wanted to legally change from female to non-binary (a third gender.) The Shupe case set off a nationwide movement of male and females who sought to legally be addressed as non-binary.

Source: NBC News 

What do you think of Patch’s win? Let us know in the comments below. 



 

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