The State Department on Wednesday issued the first U.S. passport with an “X” gender marker, granting a third option for American passport holders who do not identify as female or male.
“The Department of State continues the process of updating its policies regarding gender markers on U.S. passports and Consular Reports of Birth Abroad (CRBAs) to better serve all U.S. citizens, regardless of their gender identity,” press secretary Ned Price said in a statement.
“The Department is moving towards adding an X gender marker for non-binary, intersex, and gender non-conforming persons applying for a U.S. passport or CRBA,” he added.
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The move was first announced by Secretary of State Antony Blinken in June and said it means Americans will no longer require a medical certificate to opt-out of choosing a specific gender.
The department did not specify to whom the passport was issued.
U.S. special diplomatic envoy for LGBTQ rights, Jessica Stern, said the move was a historic policy adaptation that brings the U.S. government more in line with a “lived reality” for many Americans.
“When a person obtains identity documents that reflect their true identity, they live with greater dignity and respect,” Stern said.
The option to mark gender X on a passport application is not yet available to all passport applicants.
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But Price said the department hopes to make the option widely available starting in early 2022.
“I want to reiterate, on the occasion of this passport issuance, the Department of State’s commitment to promoting the freedom, dignity, and equality of all people – including LGBTQI+ persons,” Price added.