In a ground-breaking decision, Judge Amy Holmes Hehn of Multnomah County Circuit Court granted former army sergeant Jamie Shupe the right to legally be classified as non-binary – a gender category for those that are not exclusively male or female.

jamie shupe non binary“I thought it was a reasonable classification for all the people like me who don’t fit under this male or female umbrella,” Shupe told People magazine.

The United States now joins Australia, Denmark, New Zealand, and Nepal as countries where citizens have legally changed their gender to non-binary.

“This is the greatest victory of my life,” Shupe told People magazine. “I have won the right to legally and accurately define my sense of self and who I exist as. The judge has simply made me whole and corrected the injustices that were done to me by the medical and grossly inadequate government classification systems that I was forced to live under. Hopefully I have freed all of those like me to exist not only authentically, but legally.”

For anyone else hoping to legally change their gender to non-binary, they will have to petition a local court like Shupe did.

“I’m hoping every one of the people will have their identities confirmed,” Shupe says.

This is progress, at a time when many Americans are hoping for a move to a more conservative government.

Image credit: Jamie Shupe