National Black Justice Coalition on the State Department Issuing the First Passport with a Non Binary Gender “X” Option
CONTACT: Brett Abrams | firstname.lastname@example.org
Statement from Victoria Kirby York, deputy executive director of the National Black Justice Coalition, the leading civil rights group focused at the intersection of Black and LGBTQ+/same gender loving identities, on the State Department issuing the first passports with a nonbinary “gender X” option:
“Today is historic and full of meaning and use for Black babies, children, and adults who have not been able to have their correct sex assigned at birth or current gender identity represented on official forms of identification.
“As someone who was born abroad to military parents, my own Consular Report of Birth Abroad has long operated as my birth certificate and my passport served as my very first form of photo identification. I personally understand how important accuracy on both of these official documents is for proof of citizenship, traveling, voting, employment, education, and much more.
“Until now, intersex births were unable to be marked appropriately by doctors caring for Americans born abroad – including the children of military service members, like me. It is also important that non-binary and gender non-conforming people have the option of describing their gender in a way that honors the expansiveness and diversity of gender in humanity. This is critical for interactions with TSA and foreign government officials, as well as domestic law enforcement officers, medical services, and even voting officials who may question whether you are who you say you are based on assumptions made about the gender marked on your identification documents.
“For those of us who live in states without a third gender marker option for state identification, including driver’s license, the official rollout in early 2022 will be a welcome resource in official documentation highlighting a more accurate gender identity. This rollout is also a model for lawmakers and state motor vehicle agency decision-makers who are looking to have more accurate forms and identification documents produced in their states. We urge everyone living in a state without at least a third gender marker option to demand state lawmakers and transportation officials to follow the federal government’s lead.
“The $140.00 minimum cost of one’s first passport book can be prohibitive for many Black LGBTQ+/SGL people. We continue to urge the administration to consider cost waivers and reductions for those whose only accurate photo identification option will be passports.”
You can learn more about top advocacy needs for Intersex people HERE.