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  • Writer's pictureElaine Martin

What's a Gender Marker?

A gender marker is the technical term for that little "M" or "F" on your drivers' license. DMVs have policies on who and how they can get changed to match the picture on the license, and therefore, properly identify the person presenting the licence. For transgender people, in the ten or so states that still require surgery and an attestation to it by an MD, there is a major impact on simple, mundane life experiences. Lack of a matching gender marker in those states betrays a trans-person's surgical status at the post office, liquor store, car rental counter, hotel check in, voting site, bank, or anywhere a drivers' license is needed.

I'm very proud that after more than 10 years of effort, a small team of us were able "fix" the gender marker policy in North Carolina. Thanks to Arli Christian, National Center for Transgender Equality; Ames Simmons, Equality NC, and Chris Brook, formally of the ACLU of NC for joining me in this effort.

Today, journalist Caleb Gayle of Demos, has powerfully told the story of this change and the important impact it has.


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