Joe Biden urged to legally recognise non-binary people with gender-neutral passports


Joe Biden. (Rick Loomis/Getty)

Joe Biden is facing calls to give trans and non-binary people the legal recognition they need with “X” markers on passports.

Under current rules, people must identify as either male or female on United States passports, meaning non-binary people are effectively forced to misgender themselves on official documentation.

Joe Biden promised to introduce a third “X” marker for non-binary people on passports and social security cards during his presidential campaign – however, no such change has been enacted.

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) launched its “They the People” campaign in 2020 in a bid to win legal recognition for non-binary people.

The ACLU is now planning to deliver a petition to the Biden administration on 31 March – Trans Day of Visibility – calling on the president to sign an executive order introducing “X” markers for non-binary people.

The petition, which has been signed more than 70,000 times, notes that trans and non-binary people have endured state-sanctioned discrimination over the last four years in the United States.

“The new administration has assured us they will work to undo this damage, so we must hold them accountable to their words,” the ACLU’s petition says.

“There’s one important action Biden-Harris can take right away to show that they respect and support our trans communities: Give us access to accurate identification,” the organisation adds.

Joe Biden urged to introduce gender-neutral passports in first 100 days

The ACLU asks Joe Biden to sign an executive order introducing “X” markers within his first 100 days in office.

The organisation’s They the People campaign notes that “X” markers on official documentation would allow trans and non-binary people to travel, apply for jobs and enter public establishments “without risk of harassment or harm”.

The Biden administration provided an update on plans to introduce an “X” marker on passports and social security cards in February.

White House spokesperson Matt Hill told The 19th that, while there was no timeline yet, Joe Biden remained committed to introducing gender-neutral IDs.

In a statement, Hill said: “President Biden remains committed to advancing state and federal efforts that allow transgender and non-binary Americans to update their identification documents to accurately reflect their gender identity, especially as transgender and non-binary people continue to face harassment or are denied access to services because their identification documents don’t affirm their identity.”


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