The US Department of State has issued the first US passport with the gender designated as “X”, a step towards realizing a third gender option widely available to non-binary, intersex, and gender-nonconforming candidates. the department announced Wednesday.
The X gender indicator will be open “to all routine passport applicants once the required system and form updates are completed in early 2022,” according to a statement by State Department spokesperson Ned Price. The department last summer announced that he would add the option and it already allows applicants to select which gender they would like to have on their passport even if it doesn’t match the identification they are using as a support department. No medical certification is required for changing the sex designation of the passport.
The United States is joining around a dozen countries that offer a non-binary or third-gender option for passports, including Canada, Argentina, Denmark, Australia, New Zealand, Malta, Iceland, Pakistan, and Nepal.
The human rights campaign estimates that State Department policy will benefit approximately 1.2 million non-binary adults, 2 million transgender people, and approximately 5.5 million intersex people in the United States. Price said the department is working “closely with other US government agencies to ensure the smoothest travel experience possible for all passport holders, regardless of their gender identity.”