State Department says Gender X to appear on U.S. passport applications
In October, it issued the first American passport with an "X" gender marker, designed to give nonbinary, intersex and gender-nonconforming people a marker other than male or female on their travel document.
WASHINGTON — Americans will be allowed to choose an X for gender on their passport applications beginning on April 11, the U.S. State Department said on Thursday as the Biden administration marked a "Transgender Day of Visibility" amid moves by some states to target transgender people.
The State Department in June said U.S. citizens could select their gender on applications without having to submit medical documentation. In October, it issued the first American passport with an "X" gender marker, designed to give nonbinary, intersex and gender-nonconforming people a marker other than male or female on their travel document.
"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," Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a statement.
The change was one of several measures announced by the Biden administration a day after the Republican governors of Oklahoma and Arizona signed bills banning transgender athletes from girls' school sports.
They joined a growing list of states that have passed or enacted similar laws on a contentious election-year issue. Transgender rights have been pushed to the forefront of the culture wars playing out in parts of the United States in recent years, together with issues such as reproductive rights.
"The administration once again condemns the proliferation of dangerous anti-transgender legislative attacks that have been introduced and passed in state legislatures around the country," the White House said in a statement on initiatives it would take aimed at taking down barriers for transgender people.
They include easing travel, providing resources for transgender children and their families, improving access to federal services and benefits and advancing inclusion and visibility in federal data.
"Every American deserves the freedom to be themselves. But far too many transgender Americans still face systemic barriers, discrimination, and acts of violence," the White House said.
(Reporting by Doina Chiacu; editing by William Maclean.)