You Can Soon Choose Your Gender on U.S. Passports

Plus, the government is planning to introduce a third gender option.


In a huge step forward for transgender and non-binary folks, the US government announced that it will begin to allow citizens to choose their own gender on passports, without the need for medical certification. It is also working on introducing a third, non-specific marker for those that do not identify as male or female.

On the last day of Pride Month, June 30, the State Department announced that travelers will no longer have to show proof of medical certification to determine their gender on their passport. Rather, they'll have the freedom to self-select how they identify. This is for both existing passport holders (you'll be able to request a new one) and for new applicants. 

According to Travel + Leisure, individuals that were transitioning were previously given limited-validity passports. Now, the State Department plans on doing away with those entirely. 

"The Department of State is committed to promoting the freedom, dignity, and equality of all people—including LGBTQI+ persons," the department said in a statement. "Since assuming office, President Biden has taken several executive actions demonstrating this administration’s commitment to human rights and has directed agencies across the US government to take concrete actions to promote and protect the human rights of LGBTQI+ persons around the world." 

While non-binary and intersex citizens will have to wait a bit longer on a third gender marker, it's currently in the works. "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," the State Department added, noting that its working with interagency partners to ensure a smooth process.

"We also value our continued engagement with the LGBTQI+ community, which will inform our approach and positions moving forward," the State Department continued. "With this action, I express our enduring commitment to the LGBTQI+ community today and moving forward." 

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Megan Schaltegger is a staff writer at Thrillist.