Culture

US Passports to Offer Gender-Neutral "X" Option

The announcement was made on Transgender Day of Visibility.

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US Passports to Offer Gender-Neutral "X" Option

The announcement was made on Transgender Day of Visibility.

Citizens of the U.S. will now have the option to select “X” as their gender marker on their passports.

The news arrives on Transgender Day of Visibility, which is observed annually on March 31 to celebrate trans people and to raise awareness of the discrimination that they face. The announcement by the Department of State reads: “The Department of State has reached another milestone in our work to better serve all U.S. citizens, regardless of their gender identity… U.S. citizens will be able to select an X as their gender marker on their U.S. passport application, and the option will become available for other forms of documentation next year.” It adds: “After thoughtful consideration of the research conducted and feedback from community members, we concluded that the definition of the X gender marker on State Department public forms will be ‘Unspecified or another gender identity.’ This definition is respectful of individuals’ privacy while advancing inclusion.”

The Department of State first announced last year in June that it is working on adding a third gender option for U.S. passports. It additionally stated that those applying for passports would be allowed to self-select their gender and won’t be required to provide any supporting medical documentation.

The Human Rights Council responded to the news: “News of the Biden-Harris Administration’s commitment to policy reforms that will improve the lives of transgender and non-binary people in this country is a wonderful way to kick off this year’s International Transgender Day of Visibility.” It added: “Today’s actions prove that transgender people have an ally in the White House, and come at a much needed time when transgender people – particularly young people – are under attack in statehouses across the country.”

The gender-neutral “X” marker will be available on passport applications from April 11.

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