US To Issue Its First Passport With ‘X’ for Gender


When the time comes around for us to finally be able to travel freely around the world once again, we’re going to see the birth of a new gender indication on some US passports: X.

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, gender has no longer been simply constrained to the binary male or female categories, and many prefer to identify as non-binary now.

Yet, it has remained challenging for individuals who identify as such to be able to indicate that on official documents, where only their birth gender was reflected.

New Gender Options Available From Early 2022

The United States have since made a proclamation – that they have officially issued the very first passport that indicates one’s gender as X as part of inclusivity efforts.

It is a landmark move for the LGBTQIA+ community in the country, and elsewhere too.

Other than being able to choose the X option for one’s gender on passports, Americans overseas will also be able to opt for it on their birth certifications as well, starting from early next year.

Such discussions were first addressed in June by Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who cited technological hurdles as something they needed to sort out first.


The State Department will also allow Americans to select their gender on passports now, when medical certification was previously needed to select a different gender than the one on their birth certificates and other documents.

Ned Price, a spokesperson for the State Department, stressed on the state’s “commitment to promoting the freedom, dignity, and equality of all people, including LGBTQI+ persons” following the passport issuance.

The announcement came during the week of Intersex Awareness Day, with the State Department pledging their support for individuals who face gender identity discrimination, in line with President Joe Biden’s promise to advocate for LGBTQ rights.

It’s a rather far cry from the reign of Donald Trump, isn’t it?


Yes To More Inclusivity

According to the Human Rights Campaign, a group which advocates for LGBTQ+ rights, the move was considered to be “historical”.

It “will mitigate the risk of discrimination, harassment and violence faced by millions of non-binary, intersex and gender non-conforming Americans who travel abroad,” said senior vice-president of the policy and political affairs department, Ms JoDee Winterhof.

She also hopes that the US will be able to encourage more governments in developing such inclusive policies as well.

They’re not actually the first country to legalise the usage of the X or “other” option for gender on passports – 11 other countries have already done so, including Canada, Germany and Argentina.

As a nod to the “hijra” transgender or non-binary communities in some South Asian cultures, India, Nepal, and Pakistan are also among them.

But of course, when a superpower starts the trend, everyone would follow suit – hopefully.

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