The Biden administration announced measures on Thursday to help transgender Americans against a wave of state laws targeting them, including allowing them to choose an X for gender on passport applications and selecting their sex on Social Security cards.
In June, the State Department announced that citizens of the United States could choose their gender on applications without submitting medical documentation. It issued the first American passport with a “X” gender marking in October, giving nonbinary, intersex, and gender-nonconforming people a choice on their travel document other than male or female.
“Beginning 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 accessible for additional forms of documents next year,” stated Secretary of State Antony Blinken in a statement.
Beginning in the fall, Americans will be able to pick and add their gender on their Social Security cards without the need for medical documentation, according to the Social Security Administration. Gender markers are currently absent from the cards.
The revisions were revealed as part of the Biden administration’s “Transgender Day of Visibility” celebration, which came a day after the Republican governors of Oklahoma and Arizona signed bills prohibiting transgender athletes from participating in girls’ sports in schools.
They’ve joined a growing list of states that have passed or adopted similar legislation on a divisive election-year topic. Transgender rights, along with reproductive rights, have been thrust to the centre of the cultural wars raging in portions of the United States in recent years.
“The administration once again condemns the proliferation of deadly anti-transgender legislative measures that have been introduced and approved in state legislatures across the country,” the White House said in a statement about transgender-friendly initiatives.
They include things like making travel easier, providing resources for transgender children and their families, boosting access to government services and benefits, and increasing inclusion and visibility in federal statistics.
With changes in imaging technology, fewer pat-down screenings, removing gender identification from checkpoint screenings, and updating TSA PreCheck to include a “X” gender marker on its application, the Transportation Security Administration will implement gender-neutral screening at its checkpoints.
A new website from the Department of Health and Human Services provides services for transgender and LGBTQI+ youth, their parents, and clinicians.
According to the White House, other agencies will announce new initiatives to broaden the collecting and use of sexual orientation and gender identity data.
“Every American is entitled to the right to be themselves. However, far too many transgender people in the United States continue to experience structural barriers, discrimination, and acts of violence “According to the White House.