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Man, woman and…’X’: Country starts issuing gender-neutral passports

At a time when multiple states and Republican lawmakers around the country are enacting legislation that critics believe violates LGBTQ rights, US President Joe Biden’s administration has come up with something nothing short of a jackpot. As of Monday, citizens in the United States can get a passport with the gender designation ‘X.’

This is a boon for the nearly 1.2 million Americans who do not identify with standard gender identities or whose gender identity falls outside of the categories of man and woman. This decision, however, is anticipated to exacerbate tensions in a country already split over ‘progressive’ changes such as abortion rights and gender concerns.

People would not have to deal with red-tape if they were intersex or gender fluid. For most, it’s just another box to check on an application form, but for many, such as D. Ojeda, a non-binary person who became one of the first Americans to apply for a gender-neutral passport on Monday, it’s ‘amazing’ Ojeda, a social activist who uses the pronouns they/them, told AFP, ‘Even with my family, they still don’t comprehend it,’ adding, ‘but at least I have the government to state who I am as a person.’

Applicants can also check the ‘gender change’ box. This displays that their preferred gender identification differs from that of their prior passport, and they are not required to present any medical paperwork for the transition. ‘It feels like the world is getting safer,’ remarked Ojeda. After a lengthy legal struggle, an intersex person from Colorado, US, was granted the right to possess a passport with an ‘X’ classification in October of last year.

Only a few days ago, on March 31, which is also known as the International Day of Transgender Visibility, the US State Department announced that this service will be extended to all American residents. On a federal level, the agency will also take certain other steps to reduce administrative barriers for transgender and non-binary individuals.


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