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Gender Neutral X Passports Will Be Available For US Citizens From April 11, 2022

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Since his election, President Joe Biden has shown his support for the LGBTQIA+ community in various demonstrable ways. His latest introduction of gender-neutral passports that will signify ‘X’ in place of male or female is a win for gender diverse individuals in the US, reports NBC News.

THIS IS A WIN FOR GENDER NON-CONFORMING INDIVIDUALS

This new option will be available from April 11, 2022 and is being heralded as a momentous step forward for the LGBTQIA+ community. Biden first announced this option in his address on Transgender Day Of Visibility. 

According to NBC News, the US special diplomatic envoy for LGBTQIA+ rights, Jessica Stern, believes the new passport gender marker provides true equity rather than making a separate show of tolerance. “The issuance of X gender markers on US passports does not create new definitions nor rights. This policy change recognises the true identity of the passport holder,” she says.

There are reports across the US of anti-transgender legislation being introduced on a state level by conservative lawmakers, so President Biden’s federal policies are a welcome contrast showing LGBTQIA+ people they have the support of their elected leader.

For many transgender, non-binary and intersex individuals, the fight for an official gender-neutral marker on their documents has felt like an uphill battle. Many states still require proof of gender-affirming surgeries before birth certificates can be changed. According to a state-by-state review conducted by Transgender Law Centre in 2016, approximately 18 US states required official documented surgery before a gender marker may be changed on birth certificates.

The UCLA Williams Institute collate data that reports that there are 1.2 million US adults identifying as non-binary and 4 million who are trans. The conclusions lead Williams Institute to believe 16,700 people will request the X marker every year.

“The lived realities of transgender, intersex, non-binary and gender-nonconforming persons reflect that there is a wider spectrum of humanity than is represented by a binary sex designation on passports,” says Jessica Stern.

Although this new policy is a relatively small feat, activists are hailing it as a win and a massive step forward. It demonstrates to the LGBTQIA+ community that President Biden is willing to follow through with his promise of support for queer people. It is the light in a very dark tunnel for many Americans.

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