Harrisburg – PennDOT, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, will offer a gender designation of X on driver’s licenses beginning in 2020. (Maryland is also offering this option.) Erin Waters-Trasatt, PennDOT spokeswoman, told Philadelphia Gay News that the agency “plans to deploy a systematic process to make available the use of an X indicator for gender before this time next year.”

The change is especially important because, according to PennDOT, “Beginning October 1st, 2020, Pennsylvanians will need a REAL ID-compliant driver’s license, photo ID card, or another form of federally-acceptable identification (such as a valid passport or military ID) to board a domestic commercial flight or enter a federal building or military installation that requires ID.” Waters-Trasatt said, “REAL ID requires a gender indicator. An X indicator will meet those requirements as defined by see 37.17(c) of the federal regulations.”

LGBTQ activists have been hard at work to effect this change in Pennsylvania, according to Jason Landau Goodman, executive director of the Pennsylvania Youth Congress. He said, “This is a fantastic move for inclusion for nonbinary and other gender nonconforming people. We were the lead community group advocating for this and have been working with so many different individuals in [Pennsylvania state government] to support this effort and make this happen.” Goodman said Secretary of PennDOT Leslie Richards has been especially helpful in implementing the change that Goodman called “just common sense.” Brenda Klitsch, staff attorney at the Mazzoni Center, said, “This is a very important change. Not everyone fits neatly into a binary designation of gender – either female or male.” The affirming aspects of the options as well as the legal protections it offers cannot be overstated, Klitsch asserted. Pennsylvania and Maryland join 12 other states and Washington, DC, that have granted residents a gender-neutral option on driver’s licenses. (Philadelphia Gay News – Victoria Brownworth at Epgn.com/news/breaking-news/14994-pa-to-allow-gender-designation-x-on-driver-s-licenses)