US now issuing gender-neutral passports; here's everything you need to understand US citizen can now select an 'X' as their gender marker on their passport application. This means that Americans identifying as transgender will be able to choose "X" on applications, regardless of the gender shown on their birth certificates or other previous official documents. Is the United States the first country to issue gender-neutral passports? Take a look.
April 13, 2022 / 09:37 PM IST
US has rolled out gender-neutral passports for an estimated 1.2 million Americans whose gender identity falls outside the categories of man and woman. The option to receive a passport with an ‘X’ gender designation was made available from April 11 by US President Joe Biden’s administration. A look at what an X designation on passport means and countries that allow citizens to choose gender markers beyond female and male. (Image: News18 Creative)
The 'X' gender designation on the passport signals that the holder does not conform to any binary. This means that Americans identifying as transgender will be able to choose "X" on applications, regardless of the gender shown on their birth certificates or other previous official documents. (Image: News18 Creative)
The issue came into light in 2015 when Zzyym sued the US State Department over the issuance of gender neutral passports that did not require Zzyym to lie about gender by picking either male or female. Seven years later US announced its first passport with an 'X' gender designation. (Image: News18 Creative)
A few other countries have similar policies. Australia began issuing X-gender passports in 2011, with New Zealand, Canada, Germany and Argentina joining the roster since then, as well as, Pakistan and Nepal. In India, most official documents - including passports, Aadhaar etc - offer three gender markers: male, female and transgender with the letter 'T' on passports. (Image: News18 Creative)