The US celebrated Transgender Day of Visibility by announcing that citizens will be able to select ‘X’ as the gender marker on their passport applications.
The process will begin on 11 April and the option will signify an “unspecified or another gender identity”.
“Every American deserves the freedom to be themselves,” the White House said in a statement. “But far too many transgender Americans still face systemic barriers, discrimination, and acts of violence.”
The change means that trans people travelling will no longer have to give medical certification if their gender identity does not match what is printed on their identification documents.
According to the Human Rights Campaign, there are more than 1.2 million non-binary adults in America, as well as two million trans people and 5.5 million intersex citizens, who will benefit from the move.
In October 2021, the US issued its first-ever gender-neutral passport to Dana Zzyym.
“I almost burst into tears when I opened the envelope, pulled out my new passport, and saw the ‘X’ stamped boldly under ‘sex,’” Zzyym, who is an intersex non-binary Navy veteran, explained at the time. “It took six years, but to have an accurate passport, one that doesn’t force me to identify as male or female but recognises I am neither, is liberating.”
The ‘X’ marker will start being rolled out on other documents in 2023.
U.S. citizens will be able to select X as their gender marker on their U.S. passport book starting April 11. As we mark Transgender Day of Visibility, we mark this historic moment at the @StateDept as a meaningful step towards LGBTQI+ inclusivity. #TDOV
— Secretary Antony Blinken (@SecBlinken) March 31, 2022