A third option

Most of us are familiar with the gender question on forms — the box for male and the box for female. But, as non-binary identities become more well-known, more thought is being given to how we fill out those forms and the options available on them.

A 2018 study by the Pew Research Center found that more than 40% of American adults believe that forms and online profiles should include options other than “male” and “female” (Graf, 2019).

That sentiment has translated to the political sphere, as well. Beginning with Oregon in 2017, a total of 13 states have begun accepting a third gender option, such as “X,” on driver’s licenses and other state-issued identification (Silverman, 2019). Some also accept the option on birth certificates.

The changes are expected to continue in 2020, with Hawaii, New Hampshire and Pennsylvania including the option on their driver’s licenses, too.


While states are accepting this option, public opinion is divided across party and generational lines. See how the data breaks down.


Pennsylvania and Washington were among the most recent states to accept a third gender option for their forms of ID. Learn about their rationale and the human rights considerations.



Graf, N. (2019, December 18). About four-in-ten U.S. adults say forms should offer more than two gender options. Pew Research Center Fact Tank. https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2019/12/18/gender-options-on-forms-or-online-profiles/

Silverman, H. (2019, August 1). 2 more states will offer a 3rd gender option on driver's licenses. CNN. https://www.cnn.com/2019/08/01/health/washington-pennsylvania-gender-x-id/index.html

Gender Identity Gender identity icon Our core sense of who we are as a man, a woman, a mixture of both, or neither.

Gender Expression Gender expression icon How we show up in the world through choices like clothing, hair style, mannerisms or tone of voice.

Attraction attraction icon How we feel toward others sexually, romantically and/or emotionally.

Biological Sex Biological sex icon Physical attributes such as reproductive organs and genitalia, chromosomes, genes and hormone levels.

Subscribe to our monthly newsletter to gather insights and real learnings

* indicates required
Privacy Policy *