State Department will allow Americans to mark their gender as 'X' on passports

WASHINGTON — The Biden administration announced on Thursday several measures intended to make federal identification forms, federal pro...


WASHINGTON — The Biden administration announced on Thursday several measures intended to make federal identification forms, federal program applications, and travel documents more inclusive for Americans who identify as transgender or non-binary, or who do not conform to traditional gender roles.

A long-awaited change will give Americans the opportunity to indicating their gender with an “X”on passports from April 11.

The plan was announced last summershortly after the State Department overturned a rule requiring a doctor’s certificate indicating that an applicant had transitioned or was in the process of transitioning in order to change gender on their passport.

Officials had said making the “X” option available was complicated and would take time. Douglass Benning, principal deputy assistant secretary in the State Department’s Bureau of Consular Affairs, said Wednesday the process included gathering public comment, consulting with countries that had taken similar action, and working with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Institutes of Health to collect research on how to define an X gender marker.

“We are strongly committed to promoting and protecting the freedom, dignity and equality of all people, including non-binary, non-binary and gender non-conforming trans people around the world,” Benning said.

The Transportation Security Administration will also propose option “X” for gender for candidates for his Trusted Traveler Programswhich is fast-tracking travelers through US airports and across international borders, starting April 11.

The Biden administration has said the ‘X’ category option will soon be extended to applications for federal student aid, discrimination complaints to the Equal Opportunity Commission and the House security system. White for workers and visitors.

The TSA also announced new initiatives to make its security screening more inclusive, such as removing gender considerations from a traveler’s identity validation process and updating body scanning procedures. Current technology differentiates anatomy, which means an officer must press a button to tell the machine a traveler’s gender before a body scan. This can potentially set off an alarm if the contours of a person’s body do not match the generic contour expected by the software.

Activists said allowing Americans to identify by a gender other than that listed on their birth certificate on other official documents was a monumental step, given that many people face barriers to changing or obtaining other forms of identification, such as a driver’s license, that accurately identify them.

“It’s absolutely phenomenal for transgender Americans,” said Rodrigo Heng-Lehtinen, executive director of the National Center for Transgender Equality. “Many people still live in states where this process of updating your driver’s license or ID card is onerous and can be very expensive.”

Over 20 States offer a gender-neutral option of X on driver’s licenses, but dozens do not have or have requirements, such as certification from a doctor, to change gender.

Before changing its rule, the United States consulted several countries, including Canada, Australia and New Zealand — who have adopted similar policies, Benning said.

Jessica Stern, the United States’ special envoy for advancing the human rights of LGBTQI+ people, said the government will emphasize including gender options on passports in its promotion of LGBTQ rights in the country. global scale.

“With this development, the United States joins other countries in recognizing their gender options on passports without additional verification beyond the person’s own assertion,” she said.

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Newsrust - US Top News: State Department will allow Americans to mark their gender as 'X' on passports
State Department will allow Americans to mark their gender as 'X' on passports
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