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Biden admin allowing ‘X’ gender marker on US passports starting next month

Passport (Max Pixel/Released)
March 31, 2022

The State Department announced on Thursday that U.S. citizens will be able to select “X” as their gender marker on passport applications as part of an effort to serve all Americans “regardless of their gender identity.”

“The Department of State has reached another milestone in our work to better serve all U.S. citizens, regardless of their gender identity,” Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a statement. “In June, I announced that U.S. passport applicants could self-select their gender and were no longer required to submit any medical documentation, even if their selected gender differed from their other citizenship or identity documents. Starting on April 11, 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.”

Blinken boasted about “setting a precedent” by becoming the first federal agency to allow the “X” marker on an identity document.

“When we announced in June that we had begun this work, we referred to the addition of a third gender marker for non-binary, intersex, and gender non-conforming individuals.  Since then, we have solicited public feedback through the notice and comment process we undertook to update our passport application forms,” he continued. “We have also continued to consult with partner countries who have already taken this important step to recognize gender diversity on their passports.”

Blinken also said that the department has worked with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics on how to define the “X” gender marker by “interviewing a demographically diverse group of individuals, including many members of the LGBTQI+ community.”

“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,’” Blinken added. “This definition is respectful of individuals’ privacy while advancing inclusion.”

Also on Thursday, President Joe Biden released a video recognizing Transgender Visibility Day.

“To everyone celebrating Transgender Day of Visibility, I want you to know that your president sees you,” Biden said. “Jill, Kamala, Doug, our entire administration sees you for who you are, made in the image of God and deserving of dignity, respect and support.”

“And we’re committed to advancing transgender equality in the classroom, on the playing field, at work, in our military, in our housing and healthcare systems – everywhere,” he said, adding, “To parents of transgender children, affirming your child’s identity is one of the most powerful things you can do to keep them safe and healthy.”