US Passports Are Getting a Third Gender Option

State Department says applicants can now self-select gender
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 1, 2021 7:07 AM CDT
US Passports Are Getting a Third Gender Option
"The Department of State is committed to promoting the freedom, dignity, and equality of all people," Blinken said.   (Getty Images/Evgena Parajanian)

Under changes announced by the State Department on Wednesday, American passports will still list a person's gender—but it will be up to the individual whether it says M or F, and a third option is on the way. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken said in a release that the government "will no longer require medical certification if an applicant’s self-selected gender does not match the gender on their other citizenship or identity documents." Blinken said the department is moving toward adding a "gender marker for non-binary, intersex, and gender non-conforming persons," but no date has been set for the change, NBC reports.

Blinken said adding the third option, expected to be an X, "is technologically complex and will take time for extensive updates." Other countries, including Canada and Germany, have already added a third option and Blinken said the US has consulted "like-minded governments." Colorado resident Dana Zzyym, who is intersex and nonbinary, is among those who have long pushed for the change. "It's great news for all intersex and non-binary people, because it basically says that we can get our passports," Zzyym tells NPR. "We don't have to lie to get our passports. We can just be ourselves." (Read more passports stories.)

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