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Jamie Shupe Becomes First Legally Non-Binary Person in the US

Jamie Shuper first non binary person US

An Oregon judge has ruled that 52-year-old Jamie Shupe can legally identify as neither male nor female. 

Shupe was assigned the sex of male at birth and began transitioning to female as an adult, all while married to a woman and raising a daughter. 

"I did this because we desperately needed a legal way to be trans for those of us that exist outside of traditional male and female boundaries," Shupe told Out after the historic ruling. "And I was in a position to make that legal option happen."

A decorated veteran, Shupe acknowledges that their (Shupe uses the pronoun they) position is one of privilege, not shared by much of the trans community. "The government puts money in my bank account every month. I've been able to exist in this bubble where I've mostly avoided abuse," Shupe said. 

Overall, the reaction to Shupe's case as been encouraging: "Besides a few religious figures calling me the Antichrist, the response from the community has been overwhelmingly positive and incredible," they added. 

"I knew the law well enough to know there is no exclusion, it’s not a complicated statute," Shupe's lawyer, Lake Perriguey, told The Guardian. "It’s two lines. People change their names, the process to change your sex identity is the same as changing your name."

Shupe's landmark ruling is a major turning point in the legal rights of gender non-conforming people.

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