Protecting Intersex, Genderqueer, and other non-binary persons' right to self identify

If you believe you have been discriminated against under current law as an intersex, genderqueer, or other non-binary person please contact the Intersex & Genderqueer Recognition Project at

Impact Litigation

As of 5/23/2017 at least 17 non-binary gender change court orders have been granted in California. Many more have probably been granted that we don't know about. Petitions have been granted in Santa Cruz, San Francisco, San Diego, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Fresno, Alameda, and Humboldt counties. At least a half-dozen additional petitions have been filed and are awaiting hearings. We will no longer be reporting on each individual petition granted on this page.

The first few petitions granted in California, as well as historical cases preceding them, are documented below:


     Alameda County

On Tuesday January 24, 2017 IGRP filed petitions for non-binary gender changes for three people, one of whom is intersex, in Alameda county.  IGRP Legal Director Toby Adams is representing the petitioners, Tom, Cory, and Noel. The hearing was held on April 21, 2017 at 11:30am at the Alameda County Superior Court, 1221 Oak Street, Oakland, CA 94612 in Dept. 24. A fourth IGRP client was added to the April 21st hearing. UPDATE: All four petitions were granted.

     San Mateo County  

On Monday January 23, 2017 IGRP filed a petition for non-binary gender change for an intersex person in San Mateo county. The petition was granted in March.  

     San Francisco County

On Friday December 2, 2016 San Francisco County, California accepted petitions for gender change to Non-Binary from three IGRP members: our founding member David Strachan, local queer coffeeshop manager Xin Farrish, and their spouse Char Crawford who is the nibbling of Advisory Committee member Phil Crawford. IGRP Legal Director Toby Adams is representing the petitioners. The three petitions were granted without a hearing on January 16, 2017, as well as a fourth non-binary gender to a self-filing petitioner.  |  LGBTQ Nation
     Santa Cruz County

On Monday September 26, 2016 Judge Robert B. Atack in Santa Cruz County Superior Court Dept 5 granted Sara Keenan - an intersex person - a gender change from Female to Non-Binary. Toby Adams of IGRP was there to support and advise Sara, who filed her petition pro per. Sara is the first petitioner in IGRP's current project to support Californians in obtaining court orders for non-binary gender change. Three additional petitioners in San Francisco and one each in Alameda, Santa Clara, and Sacramento counties are in the process of filing petitions for gender change to non-binary. The first non-binary gender in the US was granted to Jamie Shupe in Oregon on June 10, 2016. Sara's is the second in the US.  |  OUT FRONT  |  San Jose Mercury News  |  LGBTQ Nation  |  Bay Area Reporter 


The legal team at the Intersex & Genderqueer Recognition Project assisted with challenges by an intersex resident of Colorado who was denied a non-binary drivers license. A discrimination charge was made to the Colorado Civil Rights Commission. The applicant lost their case. Applicant Dana Zzyym has since filed a lawsuit October 26, 2015 to be allowed a non-binary designation on their passport with the help of Lambda Legal.

Historical Cases

Most of the case law available on this issue is based on marriage or employment of a transgender person (i.e. In re Estate of Gardiner, Glenn v. Brumby, Schroer v. Billington). Case law on the legal implications of enforced binary classification on intersex and genderqueer persons is sparse. Price Waterhouse did tread into this area where a female employee was denied
partnership because she was considered “macho” and didn’t fulfill expectations to walk, talk and, dress “femininely.” Case law regarding nonbinary sex and gender discussed in more depth in paper by Toby Adams.

The earliest case we have found of an intersex person in the US winning a case for a non-binary gender on official documentation is an Ohio case where the court magistrate approved correcting the birth certificate of an adult intersex person to read Hermaphrodite at their request, granted September 19, 2012.

If you believe you have been discriminated against under current law as an intersex, genderqueer, or other non-binary person please contact the Intersex & Genderqueer Recognition Project at