U.S. State Department Announces Gender X Option for Passport Applications

  • VOA News

    April 02, 2022 08:29

    Americans who say they identify as neither male nor female will now have an option to choose an X as a gender marker on their U.S. passport application, Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced Thursday.

    "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 said in a statement.

    The move comes as a part of a commemoration of International Transgender Day of Visibility, which falls on March 31.

    A partially redacted U.S. passport with an "X" gender designation rests on a table in Fort Collins, Colorado on Oct. 27, 2021. /AP

    "Transgender people face disproportionate levels of violence, from physical attacks to denial of necessary, gender-affirming medical care, to the passage of discriminatory laws targeting transgender persons," the secretary of state said in a statement. "Transgender persons must be able to live free from violence, discrimination, and stigma."

    President Joe Biden was expected to release a video marking the day. The White House on Thursday announced several measures to "advance the equality and visibility" of transgender individuals, including "actions to support the mental health of transgender children, remove barriers that transgender people face accessing critical government services, and improve the visibility of transgender people in our nation's data."

    Soon, visitors to the White House also will have the option of choosing an "X" gender marker on the White House Worker and Visitor Entry System.

    And the U.S. Transportation Security Administration announced it will start using security scanners that are gender-neutral.

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