Gender ‘X’ is now an option on US passport applications: NPR


US passport applicants now have a third gender choice, in an effort to make the document more inclusive for people who identify as non-binary, intersex or gender non-conforming.

Jenny Kane/AP


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Jenny Kane/AP

Gender 'X' is now an option on US passport applications: NPR

US passport applicants now have a third gender choice, in an effort to make the document more inclusive for people who identify as non-binary, intersex or gender non-conforming.

Jenny Kane/AP

US citizens applying for a passport can now select the “X” gender on their applications in addition to the previously available “F” and “M” options.

The State Department announced last year that it was adding a third gender option following a lawsuit by an intersex, non-binary Colorado resident who argued it was impossible to get a passport that accurately reflects their gender identity.

The change came into effect on Monday, with passport application forms on the government website reflecting the additional choice.

“We continue to work closely with our federal government partners to ensure as seamless a travel experience as possible for all passport holders, regardless of gender identity,” the State Department said in a statement. in March.

“We reaffirm our commitment to promote and protect the freedom, dignity and equality of all people – including transgender, non-binary and gender non-conforming people around the world.”

How the “X” Gender Marker Works

The Department of State is the first US federal agency to offer the “X” gender marker on an identity document.

The marker is officially defined as “unspecified or another gender identity”.

The State Department said it arrived at the definition after soliciting public comment, consulting with partner nations and conducting research with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics, which involved interviews with members of the LGBTQI+ community.

Whichever gender marker applicants choose will appear on their passport, regardless of gender listed on previous passports or supporting documents proving citizenship and identity. The requirement for medical documentation has also been removed.

The “X” gender marker will also be available as an option on other documents next year, the State Department said.

Lawyers had pushed for change

The Biden administration first announced it would include a third gender option on passport applications last year.

It was a decision that was applauded by many, including Dana Zzyym, who sued the State Department for the lack of gender options on passport applications.

“This is great news for all intersex and non-binary people because it basically says we can get our passports,” Zzyym told NPR in June. “We don’t have to lie to get our passports. We can just be ourselves.”

According to Lambda Legal, who represented Zzyym in their lawsuit, Zzyym became the first person to receive a passport with the “X” gender marker in December.

The United States joins a host of other countries that offer passports with gender options beyond male and female, including Canada, Australia, India, Malta, Nepal and New Zealand .


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