A woman holds passports while waiting to cross at the San Ysidro border crossing in San Ysidro, California January 31, 2008. REUTERS/Fred Greaves/File Photo
The State Department announced that Americans applying for a U.S. passport will be able to identify with the gender designation “X” beginning on April 11,
Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced on Thursday that apart from the “M” and “F” gender marker, Americans seeking a passport will be able to use an “X” gender marker that is defined as unspecified or another gender identity.
“Starting on April 11, U.S. citizens will be able to select an X as their gender marker on their U.S. passport application, and the option will become available for other forms of documentation next year,” Blinken said in a statement.
He added that the department has “solicited public feedback” on the policy, and has also consulted other countries that have already implemented similar policy.
“After thoughtful consideration of the research conducted and feedback from community members, we concluded that the definition of the X gender marker on State Department public forms will be ‘Unspecified or another gender identity.’ This definition is respectful of individuals’ privacy while advancing inclusion.”
The State Department announced last June that passport applications would be allowed to select their gender as “M” or “F” without having to provide medical certification if that gender did not match their other documentation, which was the previous policy.
“We’re setting a precedent as the first US federal government agency to offer the ‘X’ gender marker on an identity document,” Douglass Benning, principal deputy assistant secretary for consular affairs at the State Department, told reporters.
Several Republican governors are however against such policies. On Wednesday, the Republican governors of Oklahoma and Arizona signed bills banning transgender athletes from girls’ school sports, joining a growing list of states that have passed or enacted similar laws on a contentious election-year issue.
The White House in a statement condemned the governors for signing the bill:
“The administration once again condemns the proliferation of dangerous anti-transgender legislative attacks that have been introduced and passed in state legislatures around the country.”
One would wonder if the creation of other genders will also be applicable to animals, as both animals and humans are naturally created by God to have only male and female gender. Many people consider these policies to be dangerous to humankind and fears that it will one day backfire, as nature is not to be tempered with.