US State Department to now allow people to select gender ‘X’ on passport

Oct 28, 2021: The United States (US) on Wednesday announced its first passport with an “X” for sex, an important step for people outside the binary male or female category.

The State Department said it has issued the first passport for sex with an “X” and by early 2022, the option will be available as usual for both overseas Americans’ passports and birth certificates. “At the issuance of the passport, I would like to reiterate the State Department’s commitment to promoting the freedom, dignity and equality of all people, including LGBTQI + individuals,” State Department spokesman Ned Price said in a statement.

Secretary of State Anthony Blinken promised to address the issue in June, but said there were technical hurdles that needed to be addressed.

Under Blinken, the State Department also allows U.S. passport holders to choose their gender on the passport.

Previously, Americans needed medical certification if they wanted to mark their passport with a different gender than their birth certificate or other documents. According to the Employers Network for Equality and Inclusion, at least 11 other countries already have the “X” or “Other” option for passports.

These countries include Canada, Germany and Argentina, as well as India, Nepal and Pakistan, which are the legacy of the historical notion of “Hijra” intersex or transgender people in South Asia. The State Department made the announcement on the eve of Intersex Awareness Day as it pledged to support those who face discrimination in their gender identity.

Previously, Americans needed medical certification if they wanted to mark their passport with a different gender than their birth certificate or other documents.

The State Department made the announcement on the eve of Intersex Awareness Day as it pledged to support those who face discrimination in their gender identity.

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