Biden administration announces third gender-neutral option on passports, other federal documents

On Wednesday, the Biden Administration announced they would be adding a third gender-neutral option, ‘X’ marker, to federal documents, including passports.

The change comes as a significant victory for LGBT+ individuals that did not self-identify as male or female in their sexual orientation or preference. Biden has followed suit with other countries, including Germany, Australia, India, and Canada. One administration official said by the end of this year, intersex and Transgender Americans will have the ability to identify their sexual orientation on travel documents without providing medical documentation like a birth certificate.

President Biden hinted about the upcoming changes over the past few months becoming a reality. Biden has now fulfilled a promise made on the campaign trail. This action will include individuals already undergoing their transition phase. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a statement, “With this action, I express our enduring commitment to the LGBTQI+ community today and moving forward.”

Nearly half (46 percent) of transgender and nonbinary people in the United States don’t have identification that lists their correct name or gender, according to the 2015 U.S. Trans Survey conducted by the National Center for Transgender Equality. Advocates assert that leaves many exposed to violence or discrimination any time they use an ID to travel, go to a bank, interact with police, or even vote.

After years of lobbying, nonbinary and intersex individuals will finally be able to identify with who they are on passports, birth certificates, and social security cards. Allowing gender diverse Americans to self-identify, the ACLU, which has worked closely with the administration, hopes this action will help remove some of the stigmas of not identifying as male or female.

The Trump administration denied adding a third option ‘X’ marker on federal documents last year in an ongoing battle with Democrats. The Biden administration took immediate steps towards inclusion on January 20th to include gender-inclusive options on the updated White House website. Intersex activists, nonbinary, and Transgender individuals still feel that an “X” marker is only the first step in the move toward self-identification on federally recognized documents.



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