US introduces gender-neutral 'X' passports

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US introduces gender-neutral 'X' passports

Americans can choose X as their gender in passports starting April 11

the latest tech news, global tech news daily, tech news today, startups, usa tech, asia tech, china tech, eu tech, global tech, in-depth electronics reviews, 24h tech news, 24h tech news, top mobile apps, tech news daily, gaming hardware, big tech news, useful technology tips, expert interviews, reporting on the business of technology, venture capital funding, programing language

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced Thursday that “US citizens will be able to select an X as their gender marker on their US passport application,” from April 11.

“The option will become available for other forms of documentation next year,” he said in a statement.

Global Tech News Daily

The move follows prior steps allowing citizens to select gender on their application without providing related medical documentation. The first US passport marked “X”, rather than M/F, was issued in October 2021.

The X distinction is said to accommodate individuals who identify as non-binary, intersex or gender non-conforming.

Global Tech News Daily

“For far too long, transgender, non-binary, and gender non-conforming Americans have faced significant barriers to traveling safely and many have not had their gender identity respected as they travel within the United States and around the world,” said the White House.

US agencies announce data collection and security changes

“This is a major step in delivering on the president’s commitment to expand access to accurate identification documents for transgender and non-binary Americans,” read a White House statement.

The announcement was one of several made this “Transgender Day of Visibility” — something begun by activists in 2014 and proclaimed as such in the US by President Joe Biden last year. 

The State Department announcement, for instance, was followed by the Social Security Administration, which said citizens would also be able to select “X” to identify gender on Social Security cards starting this fall. Social Security cards currently have no gender indicators.

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA), responsible for airline security screening, will make its checkpoints gender-neutral. The TSA will also “remove gender considerations when validating a traveler’s identification at airport security checkpoints” and reduce pat-down screenings.

  • US introduces gender-neutral 'X' passports

    Tenacious Unicorn Ranch: Sanctuary and target

    An alpaca ranch as refuge

    In 2018, Peggy Logue founded the Tenacious Unicorn Ranch as a sanctuary for the LGBTI+ community. Logan, transgender herself, founded the alpaca farm to provide a home and work for those still marginalized by society. Here they are free to love who they want and be who they are.

  • US introduces gender-neutral 'X' passports

    Tenacious Unicorn Ranch: Sanctuary and target

    Finally accepted

    Those who find their way to the farm have usually experienced a lot of discrimination. Ranch co-owner Bonnie Nelson is no exception: “I got here and I experienced a love and acceptance that I never did before. I had true family for the first time.”

  • US introduces gender-neutral 'X' passports

    Tenacious Unicorn Ranch: Sanctuary and target

    Moving to the small town

    Initially based in northern Colorado, the farm — including 86 alpacas, 40 ducks, 20 chickens and a few dogs and cats — moved south to the small town of Westcliff in March 2020. That is when the trouble started, as right-wing groups quickly took up arms against the new neighbors.

  • US introduces gender-neutral 'X' passports

    Tenacious Unicorn Ranch: Sanctuary and target

    Object of hate

    The trouble started with hateful messages and calls, then photoshopped images showing a gun pointed at the house. Soon there were death threats. After armed individuals invaded the property, Unicorn Ranch residents began to arm themselves, too.

  • US introduces gender-neutral 'X' passports

    Tenacious Unicorn Ranch: Sanctuary and target

    Killed for being different

    The fear for life and limb is not entirely unfounded, US Human Rights Campaign, an LGBTQ advocacy group, claims 2017 was the deadliest year yet for members of the transgender community, with 31 people being killed. That was also part of what drove Penny Logue — shown here during firearms training — to establish the ranch.

  • US introduces gender-neutral 'X' passports

    Tenacious Unicorn Ranch: Sanctuary and target

    Going public as protection

    Meanwhile, residents of the ranch are turning to the media to report hostility. They hope the increased attention will deter their harassers. In addition, they have installed cameras, obtained protective waistcoats, started building a higher fence and intensified weapons training. Whether the Unicorn Ranch can remain a safe haven is uncertain.

    Author: Sarah Klein, Claudia Dehn

Hot-button culture war issue in an election year

The White House said it was initiating steps to ease travel, provide resources for transgender children and their families, improve access to government services and benefits, and foster the visibility of transgender individuals in federal data.

The Department of Health and Human Services’ new website, for example, provides resources for LGBTQI+ and transgender children and their parents or guardians. 

According to the White House, several more agencies will be announcing the expansion of gender identity and sexual-orientation data collection.

“Every American deserves the freedom to be themselves. But far too many transgender Americans still face systemic barriers, discrimination, and acts of violence,” the White House said.

The moves come just one day after the governors of two more states, Arizona and Oklahoma, signed legislation barring transgender athletes from competing in female sports in schools.

Transgender rights are one of several hot-button issues politicians and lobbying groups are using to stoke America’s culture wars in an election year.

Watch video 02:43

‘We just want the same rights as you’

js/nm (AFP, Reuters) 

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