Army veteran Jamie Shupe, who identifies as neither male nor female, can legally be considered nonbinary, a judge ruled.

In what legal experts believe is Oregon’s first such ruling, Judge Amy Holmes Hehn said Friday that the Portland resident’s sex has been changed from female to nonbinary.

“It feels amazing to be free from a binary sex classification system that inadequately addressed who I really am, a system in which I felt confined,” Shupe said.

Shupe was assigned the gender of male at birth, but started transitioning to a female in 2013, more than a decade after retiring from the military as a sergeant first class, Shupe said.

Shupe, who lived in Pittsburgh at the time, said transitioning to a female was the only option available then.

But Shupe said male or female titles didn’t seem fitting, and preferred to use the first name, Jamie, instead of a pronoun. In April, Shupe filed a petition for a gender change.

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“Oregon law has allowed for people to petition a court for a gender change for years, but the law doesn’t specify that it has to be either male or female,” said civil rights attorney Lake J. Perriguey, who filed the petition.

“The law just says, ‘change.’ Historically, people have asked for a gender change from male to female and the other way around, but Jamie is the first to ask for the gender of “nonbinary,” Perriguey said.

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