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US State Department issues 1st passport with 'X' gender marker

US Passports X gender
Posted at 6:29 AM, Oct 27, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-27 11:02:45-04

DENVER — The United States has issued its first passport with an "X" gender designation — a milestone in recognizing the rights of people who don't identify as male or female.

The State Department said Wednesday it expects to be able to offer the option to nonbinary, intersex and gender-nonconforming people early next year.

The United States' special diplomatic envoy for LGBTQ rights, Jessica Stern, calls the moves historic and celebratory.

Stern says they bring the government documents in line with the "lived reality" that there is a wider spectrum of human sex characteristics than is reflected in the previous two designations.

According to NPR, Sec. of State Antony Blinken announced in June that passport applicants would soon be able to select an option other than male or female and also check the gender of their choosing without providing medical certification if it did not match other government documents.

At the time, Blinken said the move represented "further steps toward ensuring the fair treatment of LGBTQI+ U.S. citizens, regardless of their gender or sex."

Further expanding gender markers on official government identification documents to more accommodate transgender and nonbinary people was a campaign promise that President Joe Biden ran on in the 2020 presidential election.