The White House and State Department have announced from April 11, 2022, all U.S. citizens have the option of gender-neutral passport applications.
The move will enable transgender U.S. citizens to select “X” as a gender marker on their passport applications.
The White House said in a statement: “Every American deserves the freedom to be themselves,”
“But far too many transgender Americans still face systemic barriers, discrimination, and acts of violence.”
The U.S. government said they wanted the announcement to mark a “Transgender Day of Visibility.”
They added, “We reaffirm our commitment to promoting and protecting the freedom, dignity, and equality of all persons – including transgender, non-binary, and gender non-conforming persons around the world.”
What Does This Mean For Passport Applications?
The definition of the X gender marker will become “unspecified or another gender identity.” The new gender definition will become available in documents next year, according to the U.S. State Department. Transgender Americans will no longer need to have medical certification for their gender identity if it doesn’t match the marker on their birth certificate.
Secretary of State, Antony J. Blinken, started: “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.”
The U.S. State Department added: “After thoughtful consideration of the research conducted and feedback from community members, we concluded that the definition of the X gender marker on State Department public forms will be ‘Unspecified or another gender identity.’ This definition is respectful of individuals’ privacy while advancing inclusion.”
The Response From The U.S. Public
Last June, the U.S. State Department announced the initiation of the X gender marker on U.S. passports to allow Americans to self-select their own marker between male and female.
At the time, Human Rights Campaign President—Alphonso David—said: “This is an important step toward achieving meaningful progress for LGBTQ equality in America, and will empower and enable millions of citizens to travel domestically and internationally with greater confidence that the United States recognizes their gender identity,”
The United States issued its first passport with an “X” gender designation last October to Dana Zzyym. Dana Zzyym said: “I almost burst into tears when I opened the envelope, pulled out my new passport, and saw the ‘X’ stamped boldly under ‘sex,’
“It took six years, but to have an accurate passport, one that doesn’t force me to identify as male or female but recognizes I am neither, is liberating.”
The Department of Homeland Security also announced various advancements for transgender Americans when traveling, such as:
- More advanced screening technology
- Less invasive screening procedures
- An update to the TSA Pre-Check program to include the X gender marker
How To Apply For A U.S. Passport
After two years of travel challenges, many Americans are applying for a passport or renewing their passport for the first time in years.
Here are the steps:
- Gather your evidence of U.S citizenship; this can include a U.S. birth certificate, a U.S. Certificate of Citizenship, or a U.S. Certificate of Naturalization
- Complete the passport application form (Form DS-11)
- Take a U.S passport photograph
- Gather all your documents
- Book an appointment. You’ll need to make a written note of the appointment confirmation number, the date and time of your appointment, and the appointment password.
- Pay your passport fees during the appointment
- Wait for your passport delivery
As travel resumes, now is an excellent time to apply for a passport, or check to make sure your current passport doesn’t need renewing.
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com