(DailyVantage.com) – Equality has been a controversial topic over the last few years, with gender identity rising to the forefront of many heated debates. Still, non-binary people and those who don’t conform to the typical male or female genders can now designate themselves as such on official US travel documents.
On Thursday, March 31, the State Department announced it would offer a new gender marker on passports. Beginning April 11, in addition to “M” or “F,” applicants can choose “X,” showing they don’t fall in either of the two standard categories. According to Secretary of State Antony Blinken, the X means either “unspecified or another gender identity – respectful of individuals’ privacy while advancing inclusion.”
U.S. citizens will be able to select X as their gender marker on their U.S. passport book starting April 11. As we mark Transgender Day of Visibility, we mark this historic moment at the @StateDept as a meaningful step towards LGBTQI+ inclusivity. #TDOV
— Secretary Antony Blinken (@SecBlinken) March 31, 2022
The move comes nearly a year after the State Department began work on the effort, soliciting feedback through open comments, which the agency then used to create the passport update. Additionally, the Department of Homeland Security is working with the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) to implement stronger scanning tools and better measures to improve the experience for transgender and non-binary travelers.
However, it’s important to note that this change doesn’t apply to everyone just yet. Americans who are overseas, for example, will still have to choose male or female.
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