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Non-binary Hoosiers denied gender marker change on IDs

Driver's LIcense.jpg
Posted at 12:41 AM, Jun 23, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-23 08:04:23-04

INDIANAPOLIS — More than two years after a notable announcement by the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles, many non-binary Hoosiers, meaning those who don't identify as male or female, are still waiting to make changes to the gender marker on their ID.

In March 2019, the BMV announced "X" would be a third gender option. Immediately, there were challenges from Statehouse Republicans. Eventually, former Attorney General Curtis Hill issued an opinion saying state agencies can't offer another gender option because they've not been granted that power by the General Assembly. This leaves people like Ash Kulak in limbo.

"I got it in the mail and it had an X on it. I was hoping it would just become something that would happen for more people," Kulak said.

They were able get the change on their ID before the BMV stopped doing it. However, this now leaves them in weird spot.

"I'm a little concerned. I still have it. I don't know when I need to go renew my license but then, I don't know what they're going to say. I don't know if they're going to tell me we have to switch you back."

Other Hoosiers who have applied to change their gender marker to non-binary have been getting letters in the mail, telling them despite the legal changes they've made through the court system (name change, gender change) their applications to amend the license has been denied.

As a lawyer, Kulak said people should be prepared for this to take months, maybe years to hash out in court.

Despite the historic gains made by the LGBTQ+ community, Kulak said the gender marker is just another reason why the community keeps fighting for equal rights and fair treatment.

"Our government responded with shutting it [X on IDs] down which I think is very detrimental to Hoosiers all across the state especially non-binary Hoosiers who want to get their IDs changed to what they're most comfortable with," Kulak explained.

WRTV has learned Indiana Legal Services is taking on this situation. We will follow up with them as proceedings get underway.