TLDEF Statement on Announcement of Changes to Gender Policies for U.S. Passports

(NEW YORK, NY - June 30, 2021) - Today, the Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund (TLDEF) issued the below statement in response to the U.S. State Department’s announcement that it would be changing its policy to allow individuals to self-select the gender for and adding an X gender marker option to U.S. passports.

Statement by Charlie Arrowood (they/them), Counsel, TLDEF Name Change Project:

“Today’s announcement by the U.S. State Department is an important step towards equality and fairness for non-binary, transgender, and intersex people. It is a critical recognition by the government that we ourselves are the arbiters of who we are. Removing the doctor’s letter requirement means passport changes are more accessible to the many trans people who do not have access to medical care, whether due to cost, lack of transportation, discrimination, or any other reason, and provides the safety and dignity of having identity documents that align with who we are.

“We hope for swift implementation of the addition of an X option for passports, which will align with the more than 20 states and more than 10 countries that already have these options for state identity documents.

“There is still so much more the federal government can do to protect the rights of transgender and non-binary people, and we look forward to working with the Biden administration on additional changes in the weeks and months ahead.”

About TLDEF:

TLDEF is committed to ending discrimination based upon gender identity and expression and to achieving equality for transgender people through public education, test-case litigation, direct legal services, and public policy efforts. To learn more about TLDEF’s work, visit

Updated on Jul 13, 2021