Americans will now be able to choose the gender reflected on their passports and will not be required to provide medical documentation if their gender does not match other identification documents, Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced on Thursday.
Additionally, the State Department will move to create a third option for gender selection that includes nonbinary, transgender, or intersex individuals, although Blinken said the process would take some time.
“We will be updating our procedures to allow applicants to self-select their gender as ‘M’ or ‘F’ and will no longer require medical certification if an applicant’s self-selected gender does not match the gender on their other citizenship or identity documents,” Blinken said in a statement.
“The Department has begun moving towards adding a gender marker for non-binary, intersex, and gender non-conforming persons applying for a passport,” Blinken added. “We are evaluating the best approach to achieve this goal. The process of adding a gender marker for non-binary, intersex, and gender non-conforming persons to these documents is technologically complex and will take time for extensive systems updates.”
The move comes several months after the State Department permitted American embassies to fly the LGBT Pride flag on official flagpoles, in a decision first reported by Foreign Policy. That decision reversed a Trump administration policy that prohibited embassies and consulates from using official flagpoles for the Pride flag.
The State Department said in June it would fly its own Progress flag, a redesigned version of the Pride flag, to mark Pride Month.