The United States Department of State will allow American citizens to select an ‘X’ as their gender marker on passport applications, from April 11.

The option will be rolled out for other kinds of documentation, department-wide, next year.

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In a statement, released on March 31, Secretary of State Antony J Blinken said,  “The Department is setting a precedent as the first federal government agency to offer the X gender marker on an identity document.”

He went on to state, “After thoughtful consideration of the research conducted and feedback from community members, we concluded that the definition of the X gender marker on State Department public forms will be ‘Unspecified or another gender identity.’  This definition is respectful of individuals’ privacy while advancing inclusion.”

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Work started on this initiative last June. Since then, the Department of State has consulted with the public and with countries that already recognise gender diversity on their passports. 

Australia has recognised gender diversity on passports for almost a decade.

According to the Australian Government Guidelines on the Recognition of Sex and Gender 2013, “Where sex and/or gender information is collected and recorded in a personal record, individuals should be given the option to select M (male), F (female) or X (Indeterminate/Intersex/Unspecified).”

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