Americans will now be able to choose X when identifying their gender during passport application. This is set to start on April 11. The State Department announced the news on the evening of Transgender Day of Visibility, March 31.
The administrative system is trying to be more inclusive by providing another option aside from male and female. It will better serve US citizens who identify as intersex, nonbinary, or non-gender conforming. They are setting the pace by being among the first federal government to offer the X gender marker on an identification document.Read More »
The gender you choose doesn’t have to match the gender on the supporting documents like state ID, previous passport, or birth certificate. By late 2023 they anticipate additional updates to make the X gender marker available to more documents, including passport cards.
What Does X Mean in Gender Identity
X represents a gender that is not exclusively female or male. Many people don’t conform to any specific gender, and for years their passports have either identified them as male or female. The third option introduced in April will give everyone a chance to choose an identity that suits them better.
Many intersex or nonbinary Americans have not been able to acquire IDs that accurately describe who they are because laws differ depending on the state. For example, 14 states will need proof of genital surgery before updating the gender marker on your birth certificate.
Such laws make it hard to make your ID documents reflect your true identity. But thankfully, you won’t have to provide any additional documents to acquire the gender-neutral passports starting in April. It makes traveling easier, and you can also feel confident carrying the passport anywhere.
This policy is in line with the announcement in June that allowed everyone to self-select their gender as female or male without providing medical certification. You were able to use either of the two genders even if it doesn’t match your other documents. The policy has now improved by including the X gender marker.
This announcement comes after a lengthy legal battle. There is an intersex person that sued the State Department after failing to acquire a passport because they were unable to check either male or female. There are so many similar cases that are going to subside thanks to the new gender-neutral passports.
The Transportation Security Administration also announced that they would have gender-neutral screening processes. These are major changes because traveling is a big part of life, and it needs to be as inclusive as possible.
There have been many criticisms against the invasive pat-downs that most people find insensitive. Some of the reforms have been long overdue, but that doesn’t mean they are not major steps in the right direction.
The announcement came with several other initiatives concerning the International Transgender Day of Visibility. You should expect the X gender marker on the passport application process as soon as possible.
Aside from helping all travelers feel respected and re]resented well, such policies force people who don’t know much about gender identity to learn. Creating a harmonious environment not just at the airport but everywhere else is crucial.
Does The Application Process Look Any Different?
They are still updating the Form Eligibility Wizard and Form Filler tools to include the X gender marker. You may have to download the PDF version of the application form and fill it out by hand if you are requesting a gender-neutral passport.
However, that will not be the case at all times; keep checking the official sites to see if you can resume your application online. Besides the necessary updates, there isn’t much that has changed in the application process.
There are enough resources to guide you through the whole application process. You won’t need to submit medical documentation to change the gender on your passport. Even if you select the gender that doesn’t match any other document, you will still get your passport.
On their previous policies, if you were in the process of transitioning, you would receive a limited-validity passport. Now that a lot has changed, many people are asking how they can replace the limited-validity passport with the gender-neutral one.
They have provided easy-to-follow instructions online if you are in the same bracket. If you have gone through any passport application process, this will not be different. Usually, when there is a major change such as this one, the application process gets turned upside down.
But the State Department is trying to make the transition as smooth as possible. The requirements to update the gender on a child’s passport are still the same as for adults. Applying for passport cards with X gender marker will probably begin in 2023 after the technological updates are complete. For now, you will only get your hands on the gender-neutral passport books.
You will have to submit another photo that looks similar to your current appearance when applying for the passport. This would be a great chance for a do-over if you didn’t like your previous passport photo. The changes are gradual but very significant and will go a long way in making all Americans feel included in their travels.
This news has been received with excitement, especially by the people advocating for such changes for a long time. If you have been patiently waiting on such reforms, April will be your chance to select the gender marker you want to be printed on your passport.
The DHS wants to ensure that everyone is treated with respect regardless of how they identify. The Biden administration had other announcements concerning the same issues that marked the day. But the X gender marker is the most anticipated change by American travelers.
The first US x gender marker passport was issued last year, and the agency promised they would be widely available this year. It looks like they delivered on their words sine you will be having one more gender identification option besides male and female during the passport application process.
These are the kinds of policy changes that most people anticipate for. Starting April 11, US citizens will be able to choose the gender marker they want to be printed on their passports. This includes the X gender marker, which represents people who are not exclusively male or female. You won’t need to support the gender change with medical reports or any other documentation. You only need to follow the application process, and you will have your gender-neutral passport.
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