‘I have effectively traded my white male privilege to become one of America’s most hated minorities’
PORTLAND, Ore. – Last Friday, Multnomah County, Ore. Circuit Court Judge Amy Holmes Hehn ordered the sex of Portland resident Jamie Shupe to be changed from female to non-binary.
Shupe, 52, was born a male and served 18 years in the army, retiring as a sergeant in 2000.
Suffering from gender dysphoria, Shupe decided at the age of 49 to transition to becoming female via hormone therapy.
According to Wikia.com, non-binary gender “describes any gender identity which does not fit within the binary of male and female” and lists the following feelings of those who may identify as non-binary:
“Have an androgynous (both masculine and feminine) gender identity, such as androgyne.
“Have an identity between male and female, such as intergender.
“Have a neutral or non-existant gender identity, such as agender or neutrois.
“Have multiple gender identities, such as bigender or pangender.
“Have a gender identity which varies over time, known as genderfluid.
“Have a weak or partial connection to a gender identity, known as demigender.
“Be intersex and identify as intersex, know as amalgagender
“Have a culturally specific gender identity which exists only within the culture they or their ancestors belong to.
“Otherwise feel that their gender is neither fully male nor fully female.”
Wikia goes on to state:
“Non-binary people may also identify as transgender and/or transsexual. The label genderqueer has a lot of overlap with non-binary, but non-binary is often seen as more politically correct, since queer is sometimes used as a transphobic insult.
“Non-binary people may wish to transition so that their gender expression more closely reflects their internal identity. Many non-binary people wish to appear androgynous and adopt unisex names, gender-neutral titles such as Mx. and/or gender-neutral pronouns, but others prefer to express themselves in ways which are traditionally seen as masculine or feminine, or to mix aspects of the two.
“Non-binary people can have any sexual orientation, although if attracted primarily to a single gender they may prefer to use gender-terminology to express this, such as androsexual or gynosexual.”
According to a “Transgender Today” story in the New York Times, Shupe’s transition to becoming a woman liberated himself from “the misery of gender dysphoria” only to trade that in for the “abuse and wrath of an often unforgiving public that is only beginning to understand my plight.”
Shupe stated, “I have effectively traded my white male privilege to become one of America’s most hated minorities.”
The Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund assisted Shupe with changing his name to Jamie, but after transitioning to a “woman,” the Army didn’t make it easy to change his records.
According to Shupe, if he wanted his Army records changed he would have to undergo unwanted sex reassignment surgery.
However, if he did that, his spouse of 27 years would be required to relinquish her military benefits.
After filing a complaint with the Pentagon Inspector General, Shupe was eventually able to obtain a new ID card, when the Army could not produce any regulation or letters prohibiting them from doing so.
It’s not clear if Shupe received a decision yet from the Army Board for Correction of Military Records about changing his Defense Department Form DD-214 records, which indicates the type of release or discharge from active duty.
Shupe, who acknowledges he is stuck with being a biological male for life despite his gender identity being female, previously had his gender legally changed from male to female.
However, Shupe, who uses the gender-neutral alternative “Mx.” Instead of Mr. or Ms., never felt the female label was accurate and, on April 27, Attorney Lake J. Perriguey filed a petition with the court on Shupe’s behalf to change Shupe’s sex from female to non-binary.
Perriguey noted, while Oregon law allows residents to petition to have their gender changed, nothing in the law states the change must be to either male or female.
Although the form provided by the court clerk listed only male or female as options, Perriguey wrote in non-binary.
To justify her ruling, Hehn, whose daughter came out as gay when she was in high school in the October 2011 edition of Grant Magazine, simply stated, “Based on the petition, and the court finding that proper notice to interested parties has been given; that the above-named person has undergone surgical, hormonal, or other treatment appropriate for this person for the purpose of gender transition; that sexual reassignment has been completed; and that no person has shown cause why the requested general judgment should not be granted.”
Now that Shupe has been granted a precedent-setting change to a third sex by Hehn, it’s unclear what sex Shupe will be considered on various legal documents, such as a driver license or passport, which require the gender to be stated as only male or female.
Hehn worked as a prosecutor for the Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office from 1988 until Jan. 17, 2013 when she was appointed by Gov. John Kitzhaber and was reelected in 2014 for a seven-year term.
Hehn penned a guest editorial for Oregonlive.com in 2014 about a domestic violence case she presided over in which Ian Elias shot his ex-wife Nicolette Elias to death before taking his own life in front of police.
In her bullet points about what can be done to fight domestic violence, Hehn wrote, “We need to talk about guns. Women who are victims of domestic violence are six to eight times more likely to be killed by an intimate partner if there are firearms in the home.”
Quoting Sen. Paul Wellstone, D-Minn., from a 1996 debate over federal regulation, Hehn wrote, “All too often, the only difference between a battered woman and a dead woman is the presence of a gun.”