US State Department Issues Passport With X Gender Marker

27 October 2021

US State Department Issues Passport With X Gender Marker

The US State Department issued a US Passport with an X gender marker today, marking the first time a gender neutral passport is issued in the country and sending a strong message in support of the rights of trans, intersex and non binary persons. 

Fourteen countries currently recognize some form of third gender marker in some way - Austria, Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Canada, Colombia, Germany, India, Iceland, The Netherlands, Nepal, New Zealand, Pakistan and Uruguay. 

Jessica Stern, US Special Envoy to Advance the Human Rights of LGBTQI+ Persons and former Executive Director of OutRight Action International, announced the news during a press call on Tuesday, October 26, fulfilling a commitment made by President Biden during his election campaign. 

Maria Sjödin, Acting Executive Director of OutRight Action International, comments:

“Trans, intersex and non-binary people face a myriad of discrimination and access barriers, as well as harassment and degrading treatment, when the gender marker in their documentation does not correspond with the norms associated with their gender expression. Offering a non-binary gender marker is not revolutionary - it is simply a reflection of reality which will enable people who do not identify as male or female to be recognized as their true selves. We welcome this step from the US State Department, urge authorities to ensure swift roll-out of the provision, and encourage other countries to follow suit.”

While only one passport was issued today, a routine roll out of the X gender marker is expected in early 2022 after necessary administrative changes are made to relevant forms and systems. Thereafter people in the US will be able to self-identify as M, F or X in their passports. 

 

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OutRight

OutRight Action International works at a global, regional and national level to eradicate the persecution, inequality, and violence lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, and queer (LGBTIQ) people face around the world. From its offices in 7 countries and headquarters in New York, OutRight builds capacity of LGBTIQ movements, documents human rights violations, advocates for inclusion and equality, and holds leaders accountable for protecting the rights of LGBTIQ people everywhere. OutRight has recognized consultative status at the United Nations.