US citizens who do not fit into traditional male or female gender roles will be permitted to choose a third option on their U.S. passports.
Starting April 11, applicants who consider themselves transgender, non-binary or others who do not conform to traditional gender definitions can select “X” as an option on their passports.
“The Department of State has reached another milestone in our work to better serve all US citizens, regardless of their gender identity,” Secretary of State Antony Blinken said.
The official designation on passport forms will read: “Unspecified or another gender identity.”
“This definition is respectful of individuals’ privacy while advancing inclusion,” Blinken said.
Blinken said that the “X” designation will be available on other government documents in 2023.
'Freedom, dignity, equality'
The new option is designed to allow those who do not consider themselves male or female to travel more easily.
“We reaffirm our commitment to promoting and protecting the freedom, dignity, and equality of all persons — including transgender, non-binary, and gender non-conforming persons around the world,” Blinken said.
The move comes as conservatives seek to impose new restrictions on transgender people inside the US, including banning transgender women from participating in sports.
Texas recently enacted a law effectively banning medical treatment for young people transitioning to a different gender, while Florida’s “don’t say gay” law restricts how educators in public schools may discuss sexuality and gender identity with students.