State Department to Allow ‘X’ Gender Marker on U.S. Passports

State Department to Allow 'X' Gender Marker on U.S. Passports U.S. passport U.S. passport. (Photovs/Dreamstime.com)

By Theodore Bunker | Thursday, 31 March 2022 11:26 AM

The State Department will offer Americans seeking a passport to use an "X" gender marker that is defined as "unspecified or another gender identity," Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced on Thursday.

The State Department announced last June that passport applications would be allowed to select their gender as "M" or "F" without having to provide medical certification if that gender did not match their other documentation, which was the previous policy.

"Starting on April 11, U.S. citizens will be able to select an X as their gender marker on their U.S. passport application, and the option will become available for other forms of documentation next year," Blinken said in a statement.

He added that the department has "solicited public feedback" on the policy, as well as consulting other countries that have already implemented it and working with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Health Statistics on research.

"After thoughtful consideration of the research conducted and feedback from community members, we concluded that the definition of the X gender marker on State Department public forms will be 'Unspecified or another gender identity.' This definition is respectful of individuals' privacy while advancing inclusion."

Politico notes that the Department of Homeland Security announced earlier this week that the Transportation Security Administration will use "enhanced screening technology" to replace "the current, gender-based system" used in body scanners.

The White House said that these upgrades "will improve the customer experience of transgender travelers who have previously been required to undergo additional screening due to alarms in sensitive areas."

It also said that the TSA is "working closely with air carriers across the nation to promote the use and acceptance of the 'X' gender marker," and has "updated its Standard Operating Procedures to remove gender considerations when validating a traveler's identification at airport security checkpoints."