Photo Credit: Levi Ventura
The U.S. State Department Issues Its First X Gender Passport
This week, the United States issued its first X gender passport, according to Travel and Leisure. This comes following the U.S. State Department’s June announcement that it would soon make the third gender option available for people who self-identify as nonbinary, intersex, or gender-nonconforming.
These individuals will now be able to accurately express their identity on their passport. Many have hailed the State Department’s decision to add the third option as a great move in providing equal rights for those who choose not to identify as male or female.
In fact, the U.S. is joining a small number of other countries that have begun allowing their citizens to choose a gender other than the traditional male and female options. These countries include Australia, Canada, Nepal, and New Zealand.
“When a person obtains identity documents that reflect their true identity, they live with greater dignity and respect,” said U.S. special diplomatic envoy for LGBTQ rights, Jessica Stern to the Associated Press.
“We see this as a way of affirming and uplifting the human rights of trans and intersex and gender-nonconforming and nonbinary people everywhere.”
In addition to being able to choose the X gender, people will also now have the option to identify themselves as male or female on their passport application, even if a different gender is listed on their other forms of ID; and they will not need to provide medical certification confirming their chosen gender.
Although the first gender X passport has been issued, the State Department will not begin to offer this option widely until next year. As of now, the third option must still obtain approval by the Office of Management and Budget, and extensive updates need to be made to the computer systems.