ACLU Comment on “X” Gender Marker Option for U.S. Passports

June 30, 2021 10:15 am

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WASHINGTON — After years of advocacy by transgender, non-binary and intersex people, the Biden administration today announced that the Department of State would begin to issue passports with an “X” gender marker without requiring medical documentation. In January, the American Civil Liberties Union launched a six-figure campaign — its largest ever targeting the federal government on LGBTQ rights — to urge the Biden administration to issue an executive order on accurate federal IDs across all federal agencies. Nearly 100,000 Americans contacted the White House in support of the executive order which is also supported by a coalition of over 80 advocacy organizations and several Congressional offices.

“Thank you to the Biden administration for taking this important step forward, and congrats to Dana Zzyym and other non-binary and intersex advocates who we have been fighting together with for this important change,” said Arli Christian, ACLU campaign strategist. “Improved access to accurate passports will have such a profound impact on the lives of trans, intersex, and non-binary folks across the country. Now people will be able to fill out a passport application and indicate M, F, or X — whichever is most appropriate for them. Despite a hateful wave of anti-trans legislation this year, trans, non-binary, and intersex people know who we are and we need recognition of who we are — not permission. Today’s action demonstrates an important first step in realizing a whole-of-government policy for accurate IDs.”

“I am excited to get a passport that accurately reflects who I am,” said Shige Sakurai, who was the first person in the country to obtain an official X-marker driver’s license. “Having accurate IDs reduces the chance that I will face harassment and violence when I need to show my ID. The federal government shouldn’t be policing gender, and when an ID has a gender marker, it should reflect who I am.”

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