US will start issuing gender-neutral passports on April 11
In today’s press release, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced that starting on April 11, 2022, the US Department of State will offer a third, gender-neutral ‘X’ gender option in the US passports.
US citizens opting of an ‘X gender’ passport will not be required to provide any medical documentation to prove that they are neither male nor female, Blinken added.
According to the department’s statement, the ‘X’ stands for those with ‘unspecified or another gender identity,’ a definition that Blinken said ‘is respectful of individuals’ privacy while advancing inclusion.’
The new ‘X’ gender option in US passport is one of a host of transgender-focused policies rolled out by the Biden administration.
The first ever gender-neutral passport in US was actually issued last October, three months after the US State Department gave trans Americans the option of switching their gender on their passports without providing medical documents to prove their transition. At the time, the Biden administration promised to give ‘non-binary’ people a third gender option in early 2022, a decision that was ridiculed online by conservatives.
The State Department’s announcement came on ‘Transgender Day of Visibility’, an occasion created by transgender campaigners in 2009 and now prominently celebrated by Democrats in the US.
Alongside the State Department’s passport announcement, the Department of Homeland Security said on Thursday that it would introduce “more efficient, less invasive screening procedures” for trans travelers, and “promote the use and acceptance of the ‘X’ gender marker” by airlines.
Argentina, Canada, and New Zealand all issue similar gender-neutral passports, while more than a dozen other countries issue third-gender passports to intersex or non-binary people in some circumstances.