US Will Issue Gender-Neutral ‘X’ Passports Starting April In Move For Acceptance
By Mikelle Leow, 01 Apr 2022
Photo 233722807 © Ukrainian photographer Volodymyr Melnyk | Dreamstime.com
Last October, the United States presented its first passport with an ‘X’ gender marker to Dana Zzyym, an intersex individual from Colorado. Now, as part of Transgender Day of Visibility on March 31, the White House has officiated the nationwide rollout of nonbinary passports and social security cards, which are just a few of the extensive measures it is taking to inspire equality and visibility in the country.
From April 11, Americans will be able to select ‘X’ as their gender, aside from the male and female options, when they apply for new passports. The designation will represent those who identify as having a gender that’s “unspecified or [of] another gender identity.”
Citizens will not need to present medical documentation to apply.
“Every American deserves the freedom to be themselves,” the Biden-Harris administration pronounces. “But far too many transgender Americans still face systemic barriers, discrimination, and acts of violence.” The decision is aimed to move the nation into a space where all feel welcome.
In the same vein, the Transportation Security Administration will soon commence gender-neutral screenings at checkpoints, which will consist of fewer pat-downs, new imaging technology for body scanners, and the removal of gender identification during checks.
Such steps address the challenges that nonbinary, gender-nonconforming, and intersex individuals commonly face when having to produce identification.
As per the Human Rights Campaign (via USA Today), the introduction of gender ‘X’ in official identification will help validate the existence of 1.2 million nonbinary US adults, 5.5 million intersex individuals, and two million transgender people.
Similar changes to social security cards will take effect starting this fall.
“Nobody should have to be brave just to be themselves,” the State Department declares, referencing the times gender ‘X’ have had to stand up to attackers who try to make them feel like they don’t belong.
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