American citizens are now able to select a new "X" gender marker on U.S. passport applications, even if it doesn't match the gender on their birth certificate or other documents.
The State Department announced last month that beginning on April 11, the agency's public forms will include an “X” gender marker that represents “Unspecified or another gender identity.” Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a statement that the definition “is respectful of individuals’ privacy while advancing inclusion.”
The announcement was part of a number of federal actions unveiled by the Biden administration on March 31 in recognition of Trans Visibility Day. Among other reforms slated to take place this year is an update to U.S. airport security procedures to be more gender-neutral, with changes to body scanners used for screening and the use of an “X” for travelers going through Precheck who do not identify as male or female.
Transportation Security Administration officers will also receive new instructions on screening intended to make procedures less invasive, the Department of Homeland Security said in a statement.
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The new technology, set to be deployed in airports nationwide later this year, “will improve the customer experience of transgender travelers who have previously been required to undergo additional screening due to alarms in sensitive areas,” the White House said.
The move is aimed to combat what the Biden administration called “dangerous anti-transgender legislative attacks” that have passed in statehouses across the country.
“DHS is committed to protecting the traveling public while ensuring that everyone, regardless of gender identity, is treated with respect,” Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said in the statement.