On Wednesday, The Associated Press reported that the Biden administration would issue its first passport with an “X” gender marker for people who refused to identify themselves as male or female.
WASHINGTON (AP) — US official: US to issue its first passport with an 'X' gender marker for those who don't identify as male or female.
— Zeke Miller (@ZekeJMiller) October 27, 2021
The AP reported:
The U.S. special diplomatic envoy for LGBTQ rights, Jessica Stern, called the moves historic and celebratory, saying they bring the government documents in line with the “lived reality” that there is a wider spectrum of human sex characteristics than is reflected in the previous two designations. “When a person obtains identity documents that reflect their true identity, they live with greater dignity and respect,” Stern said.
Stern also stated, “We see this as a way of affirming and uplifting the human rights of trans and intersex and gender-nonconforming and nonbinary people everywhere.”
The move had been in the works for months; on June 30, Secretary of State Antony Blinken released a statement in which he lauded President Biden for “demonstrating this administration’s commitment to human rights,” adding:
Today, I am pleased to announce that the Department will be taking further steps toward ensuring the fair treatment of LGBTQI+ U.S. citizens, regardless of their gender or sex, by beginning the process of updating our procedures for the issuance of U.S. Passports and Consular Reports of Birth Abroad (CRBA).
Most immediately, we will be updating our procedures to allow applicants to self-select their gender as “M” or “F” and will no longer require medical certification if an applicant’s self-selected gender does not match the gender on their other citizenship or identity documents. The Department has begun moving towards adding a gender marker for non-binary, intersex, and gender non-conforming persons applying for a passport or CRBA. We are evaluating the best approach to achieve this goal. The process of adding a gender marker for non-binary, intersex, and gender non-conforming persons to these documents is technologically complex and will take time for extensive systems updates. The Department will also be working closely with its interagency partners to ensure as smooth a travel experience as possible for the passport holder. …
In line with the Administration’s commitment to re-engage with allies and partners, the Department is taking these steps after considerable consultation with like-minded governments who have undertaken similar changes. We also value our continued engagement with the LGBTQI+ community, which will inform our approach and positions moving forward. With this action, I express our enduring commitment to the LGBTQI+ community today and moving forward.
“The United States joins a handful of countries, including Australia, New Zealand, Nepal and Canada, in allowing its citizens to designate a gender other than male or female on their passports,” AP noted.
On Friday, the Biden administration revealed their “National Gender Strategy.” “President Biden and I released the first ever National Gender Strategy,” Vice President Kamala Harris boasted. “This is our vision for the future of our nation—one that is bold in strategy and one that this moment calls for.”
President Biden and I released the first ever National Gender Strategy. This is our vision for the future of our nation—one that is bold in strategy and one that this moment calls for.https://t.co/89T8lDmkIM
— Vice President Kamala Harris (@VP) October 23, 2021