'It feels like the world is safer': Man, woman and...'X', US starts issuing gender-neutral passports
At a time when many states, Republican lawmakers across the United States have been passing laws that as per critics are infringing upon LGBTQ rights, US President Joe Biden’s administration has come up with something no less than a boon.
From Monday citizens in the US can now receive a passport with the gender designation “X”.
This comes as a blessing for over 1.2 million Americans who don’t identify with the traditional gender identities, or whose gender identity falls outside the categories of man or woman.
However, this move is expected to further fuel tensions in a nation that is already divided on “progressive” reforms like abortion rights and gender issues.
With this now intersex or gender fluid, people would not have to face red-tapism. For most, it is but a small box to tick on an application form but for many like D. Ojeda a non-binary person who on Monday became one of the first Americans to apply for a gender-neutral passport, this is "incredible".
Speaking to AFP, Ojeda, a social activist who uses the pronouns they/them said "Even with my family, they still don't get it, adding "so at least I have the government to say who I am as a person."
Applicants also have the option of selecting a box for ‘gender change’. This reflects that their chosen gender designation differs from their previously held passport and they don't have to provide any medical documentation for the change.
"It feels like the world is safer," said Ojeda.
In October last year, after a long legal battle, an intersex person from Colorado, US was able to win the right to hold a passport with an ‘X’ designation.
Only a few days back on March 31, which is also celebrated as the International Day of Transgender Visibility, the US State Department announced that they’ll be extending this service to all the citizens of America. The department will also undertake some other measures on a federal level that would serve to simplify administrative hurdles for transgender and non-binary people.