United States passports just got a little more inclusive. Starting on April 11, US citizens will be able to select an X as their gender marker on their passport application, and the option will become available for other forms of documentation next year.
The change is just one of a number of more inclusive policies that were announced back in June. In addition to the third gender marker, travelers no longer have to provide medical certification in order to change their gender marker on their passport. Instead, all passport applicants have the chance to self-select for gender on the appropriate forms. The new rules don't just apply to first-time applicants – anyone can request a new passport with a different gender selection.
The State Department is also getting rid of limited-validity passports, which were previously issues to travelers who were in the process of transitioning.
The department also clarified that the gender on a person's passport does not have to match the gender on other identifying documents in order to travel, however passport photos should be similar to those on other official IDs.
While the federal government is behind some states who have offered a third gender option on IDs for years, it is a positive step in making it easier for trans and nonbinary people to travel the world.