The United States has taken, since Monday, April 11, one more step towards the recognition of a neutral gender, neither male nor female. Anyone applying for a passport in the country will now be able to check the “X” box, rather than just choosing between male and female. The announcement was made by the State Department on March 31, International Transgender Awareness Day.
By delivering on this promise made in the fall, the State Department becomes, according to a press release, the “first federal agency” US to offer this option on an official identity document. Some other countries allow a similar approach. Australia had created this gender neutral in 2011. Since then, it has been followed by Pakistan, Nepal, New Zealand, Canada, Germany and Argentina.
“Transgender people are among the bravest in our country. But no one should be brave just to be themselves.”the White House said in a statement. The State Department had already revealed, in October 2021, that it had issued the first US passport with an “X” under the mention “sex”, but it was not a routine procedure then.
“There I have the State that says who I am as a person”
Among the first people to request these new gender-neutral identity documents, D. Ojeda places a cross in the box marked with an “X”, confirming, without having to justify it, his gender change to his previous passport by mentioning a woman. gender. D.- who uses the pronouns them and them in English, iel, in French and prefers that it be given to the masculine – finds that ” amazing “.
Because if your family “does not recognize yet” your identity, with such document, at least the state [la] recognize[ra] »D. told Agence France-Presse (AFP).
My family, they still haven’t understood. They still don’t use the first name I want. There, at least, I have the status that says who I am as a person. And, you know, I can tell people, “Here are my papers, the state sees me like this, and maybe they should start seeing me as I am.”
1.2 million non-binary people in the United States
The White House also announced a series of initiatives to make paperwork easier for transgender people: an update to body scanners used at airports to account for non-binary and intersex people; simplification of many administrative procedures; or even the creation of an information website on gender transition, aimed at young people and their parents.
“It’s a nice symbol of support [qui] it will surely be significant for a small number of people”greets Abeni Jones, author and artist, in a column published by Washington Post. However, for those who have “socially in transition, [fait inscrire le genre féminin sur son passeport] and underwent breast surgery.it’s not quite “advancement for inclusion” in the proportion presented by the Department of State. “There would be a simpler, less expensive and more powerful option: remove the mention of sex from all passports”Abeni Jones says.
About 1.2 million people identify as non-binary in the United States, according to a University of California study published in June. Only about 16,700, or 1.4%, would likely apply for a gender-neutral passport, it finds a williams institute studya group of American experts, broadcast by the newspaper The hill.
The gender issue among the most divisive
D. Ojeda has a gender-neutral Virginia driver’s license. Twenty-one states and the District of Columbia currently allow such permits. But issues of gender and identity are among the most divisive in the country. Other conservative states have adopted restrictive regulations, in particular on the care of transgender minors, on the practice of sports, or even on the use of bathrooms.
In Texas, investigations have been opened against the parents under a controversial directive from the governor, which equates certain procedures “sex change” for minors “Bad Treatments” criminally reprehensible. He cites surgical operations but also hormonal treatments. ” The administration [fédérale] condemns once again the proliferation of dangerous legislative attacks against transgender people in several states”read the White House statement.
“These types of laws have been proven to stigmatize and endanger the well-being of transgender children” Y “risk of creating discrimination and harassment” against their families, says the US executive.