The department did not say who received the passport.
While the update came a day after Intersex Awareness Day, plans to move toward adding a gender marker for nonbinary, intersex and gender-nonconforming people applying for a passport were announced in June, during LGBT Pride Month.
At the time, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said other changes include no longer requiring medical certification of an applicant’s self-selected gender if it does not match the gender on other documents.
“In line with the administration’s commitment to reengage with allies and partners, the department is taking these steps after considerable consultation with like-minded governments who have undertaken similar changes,” he said in June. “We also value our continued engagement with the LGBTQI+ community, which will inform our approach and positions moving forward.”
Several other countries, including Canada, Australia and New Zealand, already issue passports in which their citizens can designate a gender other than male or female.
Organizations that advocate for gay rights celebrated the decision, calling the change “essential” to helping mitigate discrimination, harassment and even violence for some Americans traveling internationally.
“The United States must encourage other governments around the world to follow suit in adopting inclusive policies that recognize and affirm nonbinary, intersex and gender nonconforming people,” said JoDee Winterhof, Human Rights Campaign senior vice president of policy and political affairs.
The Biden administration has attempted to reverse stances the Trump administration took on LGBT issues while aiming to expand the rights of gay people in the United States and around the world, often through executive orders.
President Biden’s support for LGBT issues became national news in 2012, when he expressed his support for same-sex marriage before President Barack Obama did, heading into that year’s presidential election. Since then, he has become more vocal in his advocacy of issues affecting the LGBT community — particularly those involving trans people.
Transgender rights — an issue that Biden once called “the civil rights issue of our time” has become one of the most high-profile topics in the ongoing political and culture wars between conservative Christians and liberal Americans.
Before entering the Oval Office, Biden committed to overturning every Trump administration rule limiting transgender rights, including eliminating the ban on transgender troops serving in the military — which he did. Biden also reinstated Obama-era guidance protecting transgender students that the Trump administration withdrew.
Administration officials view the passport change as another step toward the United States becoming a global leader on gay rights issues.
Arli Christian, campaign strategist with the American Civil Liberties Union, called the issuing of a passport with an X designation a “milestone.”
“We are so glad that soon all transgender, intersex and nonbinary people will be able to access an accurate marker on their passport,” they said. “The ACLU will continue to work with the Biden administration so that accurate gender markers are available on IDs and records across the federal government.”