The State Department issued the first U.S. passport with an X gender marker for Americans who identify as nonbinary, according to a statement from spokesperson Ned Price on Tuesday.
“We look forward to offering this option to all routine passport applicants once we complete the required system and form updates in early 2022,” Price said in the statement. He emphasized the department was working to make sure travelers had “as smooth a travel experience as possible” regardless of their gender identity.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken previously announced in June that the U.S. was moving towards offering “a gender marker for non-binary, intersex, and gender non-conforming persons applying for a passport or CRBA” in a statement.
Blinken added that the process of providing this option was “technologically complex and will take time for extensive systems updates.”
The June statement also announced the department would “allow applicants to self-select their gender as “M” or “F” and will no longer require medical certification if an applicant’s self-selected gender does not match the gender on their other citizenship or identity documents.”
The decision is the latest step taken by the Biden administration to be more inclusive to the LGBTQI+ community. The State Department commemorated International Pronoun Day, a holiday intended to give people “the opportunity to share what they want to be referred to,” on Oct. 20.
President Joe Biden also repealed former President Donald Trump’s ban on transgender individuals serving in the military in January.
“President Biden believes that gender identity should not be a bar to military service, and that America’s strength is found in its diversity,” the White House wrote in a statement at the time. “Allowing all qualified Americans to serve their country in uniform is better for the military and better for the country because an inclusive force is a more effective force.”
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