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Passports go woke: Biden admin will begin issuing gender-neutral passports with 'X' as gender

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Victor J. Blue/Bloomberg via Getty Images

United States passports are becoming inclusive.

Beginning in April, American citizens will be able to select "X" for their gender on applications for U.S. passports, the Biden administration announced Thursday.

What are the details?

According to the State Department, nonbinary American citizens or those who do not conform to traditional gender expression will be able to select "X" as their gender for their passport beginning April 11.

"We are committed to promoting the freedom, dignity, and equality of all people — including LGBTQI+ individuals," the State Department's website states. "We are taking further steps toward demonstrating this commitment to better serve all U.S. citizens, regardless of gender identity."

Jessica Stern — the U.S. special envoy to advance the human rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and intersex (LGBTQI+) persons — claimed the "issuance of X gender markers on U.S. passports does not create new definitions nor rights" because the policy change "recognizes the true identity of the passport holder."

"The lived realities of transgender, intersex, nonbinary and gender-nonconforming persons reflect that there is a wider spectrum of humanity than is represented by a binary sex designation on passports," Stern claimed.

However, passports, which are property of an issuing government, are not designed to be a form of self-expression. Rather, they are issued by countries to verify the identity of international travelers and provide critical information about the passport holder.

Anything else?

The announcement about passports was made as the Biden administration celebrated March 31 as "Transgender Day of Visibility."

Coinciding with the rollout of gender-neutral passports, the Biden administration announced the Transportation Security Administration would implement numerous changes to promote gender inclusivity, including enhanced security screening technology to "improve the experience of travelers, particularly those who are transgender and non-binary travelers."

The administration also disclosed that officials are pushing airlines to use and accept the "X" gender designation.

Aside from travel, the Department of Health and Human Services also released a document promoting "gender-affirming" health care for children, including puberty blockers, hormone therapy, and irreversible surgeries on genitals and reproductive organs.

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