In a big step, the US government has added a third gender option in their passport. Thus, US travellers can now select whichever gender they would like displayed on their passports from the option. The State Department made the announcement on June 30, which was also the last day of Pride Month.
The decision was taken to make things easier for transgender and nonbinary people to travel. As per the government’s new policy, travellers will no longer have to provide medical certification to change their gender marker. Passport holders with no gender marker can now request a new passport while new applicants will get to choose their marker when applying.
The State Department further said that they are working on a gender marker for nonbinary, intersex, and others.
The State Department mentioned, “The process of adding a gender marker for non-binary, intersex, and gender non-conforming persons to these documents is complex and will take time.”
Mary Emily O’Hara, a spokesperson for Gay & lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) told the New York Times, “I’m honestly not sure whether I would be breaking the law” as most of the time they finds it very confusing to have a government issued-ID that doesn’t match their passport.
In view of this, the US State Department has also decided to take the step of specifying that the gender on a traveller’s passport doesn’t have to match on other documents.