By: Amanda Pitts

alpitts@abc6.com

@APittsABC6

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WLNE) - Rhode Islanders will soon be seeing a third gender option on driver's licenses, birth certificates, and other state IDs.

In addition to male and female, there will also be an "X" option, for non-binary people.

"It's really just basic fairness so that everybody can be treated equally, and recognized by their government for who they are," said Governor Raimondo.

Governor Gina Raimondo said Wednesday that she started the initiative after speaking with advocates in the LGBTQ+ community. Those we spoke to said it's about time.

"For them to check either male or female is to check off a box that's not true, it's not who they are. We really appreciate living in a state that really knows how to make us feel welcome," said Rev. Dr. Donnie Anderson, a transwoman and Executive Director of the Rhode Island State Council of Churches.

Jaye Watts of the Thundermist Health Center said making non-binary people choose either male or female was a safety concern.

"It's a concern of safety that other people will see you differently than how your ID is reflected, which can cause problems for people," said Watts.

Rhode Island joins over a dozen other states that also have a third option, like Colorado, Washington, Utah, and Pennsylvania.

"While other states were doing this sooner, Rhode Island really needed to do this to catch up."

The Governor said she wants the option added as soon as possible, but realistically it could take up to a year to implement. 

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