Washington, July 2: In a progressive step, the US government has announced to introduce a new gender option other than "male" or "female" for transgender Americans seeking US passport. Once the new gender option is introduced, Americans who are nonbinary, intersex and gender-nonconforming will be able to choose a sex marker other than "male" or "female" when applying for US passport.
In a statement, the US State Department said that it was working "towards adding a gender marker for non-binary, intersex, and gender non-conforming persons applying for a passport or (a consular report of birth abroad)," meaning applicants will in the future be able to choose something other than "M" or "F". The US will soon join a growing list of countries that have allowed a third gender option for passport applicants. Below is the full list.
- Australia: Transgender Australian can choose to list their gender on their passports as "X" rather than male or female.
- Canada: Transgenders can request that their gender should be read as "X" on passport, indicating that it is unspecified. However, a gender of "M" or "F" has to be added as a gender to comply with legal requirements of other countries.
- Germany: German passport authorities allow a third designation, X, to be added in applications for intersex citizens.
- India: The Indian government permits transgender, intersex, and eunuch individuals to obtain passports that match their gender identity, whether male, female, or third gender. Three options; M, F, and E (for male, female, and eunuch, respectively) are available for applicants.
- Nepal: The Nepalese passport authority gives an option "other" for transgender applicants.
- New Zealand: New Zealand allows non-binary and transgender people to change the gender marker on their passports via a simple declaration. Options for passports include male, female, and X (indeterminate/unspecified).
In the United States too, at least 20 states and Washington, DC, have recognised non-binary or third gender classifications or have already introduced X gender for documents.
(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Jul 02, 2021 08:52 AM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website latestly.com).