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Oklahoma became the first state to ban the use of nonbinary gender markers on state birth certificates when Gov. Kevin Stitt signed a bill on Tuesday, reinforcing the violence of an unscientific gender binary that reduces everyone to their anatomy.
While the United States is updating its passports to more accurately reflect intersex, gender-nonconforming, nonbinary, and genderless identities through the gender marker option, Oklahoma has doubled down on its gender essentialism.
“The bill follows a 2021 civil case against the Oklahoma State Department of Health. The agency was sued after it refused to allow a nonbinary option on a birth certificate. The department settled the lawsuit and allowed the use of the nonbinary option,” ABC reports.
Oklahoma has banned transgender girls and femme youth from participating in school sports and is now unleashing its systemic motives to erase intersex, transgender and gender-nonconforming folks through inaccurate identity doucuments.
When states use bureaucracy to strip a person’s right to self-determination, they are essentially normalizing a culture of gender essentialism that invasively scrutinizes people based on their anatomy rather than who they are.
This culture is harmful for every person through its perpetuation of toxic masculinity and patriarchal femininity. It continues to feed into the harmful narratives that perpetuate cisgender-heterosexual inscurities painting our bodies as controversies, and leading to fatal violence that is increasingly used again trans women and femme folks at intersecting marginalized identites.