Shupe, an Army veteran who retired in 2000 a sergeant first class, began transitioning in 2013 while living in Pittsburg. Shupe knew then that neither male nor female fit. Shupe chose “Jamie” as a new first name primarily because it is a gender-neutral name. Shupe prefers to be called “Jamie,” rather than by a pronoun.
“I was assigned male at birth due to biology,” Shupe said. “I’m stuck with that for life. My gender identity is definitely feminine. My gender identity has never been male, but I feel like I have to own up to my male biology. Being non-binary allows me to do that. I’m a mixture of both. I consider myself as a third sex.”
But female or male were the only legal options Shupe saw then. Shupe chose female, but female never felt right. In April, Shupe and lawyer Lake Perriguey filed a petition with the Oregon court to legally change Shupe’s sex.