The State Department announced on Wednesday that it has issued the first non-binary gender passport, which means that instead of a male or female gender, the gender field in the passport will be marked with an “X”. The State Department also said that by early next year, U.S. passports and birth certificates for U.S. citizens abroad will also offer an “X” option in the gender field.
“I want to take the opportunity with the issuance of this passport to reaffirm the State Department’s commitment to promoting freedom, dignity and equality for all people, including the LGBTQI+ community,” said Price, a State Department spokesperson, in a statement release. LGBTQI+ is defined as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex and other non-binary genders. The State Department also expects to complete updating the system and forms to provide the option for all applicants early next year, and will work with other departments to ensure that travel is as smooth as possible for all passport holders.
According to the information, in addition to the United States, at least 11 countries currently offer the option to enter “X” or “Other” in the gender field of their passports, including Canada, Germany, Argentina, India, Nepal and Pakistan. These include Canada, Germany, Argentina, India, Nepal and Pakistan, among others. South Asian countries have historically had the concept of hijra, an intersex or transgender community.
President Biden has previously pledged that the rights of the LGBTQ community will be a top priority for his administration, and since Secretary of State Blinken took office, the State Department has allowed US passport holders to choose the gender they wish to identify as. Previously, Americans who wanted to change the gender of their passport to something different from their birth certificate or other documents had to present a medical certificate.
The Biden administration’s style is very different from that of former President Trump’s administration, which banned the flying of the rainbow flag at embassies abroad when Secretary of State Pompeo became Secretary of State during Trump’s term.
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