US Passports Will Allow “X” Gender Marker Starting April 11

The State Department will soon begin issuing U.S. passports with an “X” gender marker to better represent non-binary, intersex, and gender-nonconforming Americans, the agency announced Thursday.

The option, announced on Transgender Awareness Day, will roll out from April 11. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the change “will better serve all American citizens, regardless of gender identity.”

“We continue to work closely with our federal government partners to ensure the smoothest possible travel experience for all passport holders, regardless of gender identity,” he said in a statement Thursday. . “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.”

The move follows the agency’s decision in June to let Americans choose their gender on passport applications without having to submit medical documents. The Department of Homeland Security also said Thursday it would improve its screening measures and update its TSA PreCheck program to better serve travelers, saying it would allow screenings to be conducted “in a manner that respects the dignity of each individual”.

“The new measures announced today are part of a whole-of-government effort to promote equity and inclusion in all of our programs and processes,” DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said in a statement.

Reuters notes that the Social Security Administration will also allow US citizens to select and add their gender to Social Security cards starting this fall. (Maps do not currently include gender indicators).

The State Department issued its first passport with an “X” gender marker in October. Lambda Legal later confirmed it was issued to Dana Zzyym, an intersex Coloradan who sued the agency in 2015 after it refused to issue the document with the marker, NBC News reported.

“I almost burst into tears when I opened the envelope, took out my new passport and saw the boldly stamped ‘X’ under ‘sex,'” Zzyym said at the time.


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