Trans visibility day
March 31, 2022 10:50 AM   Subscribe

President Biden marked Trans visibility day by announcing that nonbinary people will be able to get X gender markers on their passports starting on April 11th. The TSA will have gender-neutral scanners. There are also federal changes for all trans people, like fewer barriers to access Social Security and FAFSA.

Ready to apply for a new passport? The White House has details.
posted by blueberry monster (19 comments total) 48 users marked this as a favorite
Wow. Holy shit. Never in my life did I think.
posted by youarenothere at 11:02 AM on March 31, 2022 [11 favorites]

Yesssss, I was JUST doing my periodic googling of whether this is available yet.
posted by zeptoweasel at 11:16 AM on March 31, 2022 [1 favorite]

I too am amazed and pleased by this news.
posted by SansPoint at 11:19 AM on March 31, 2022 [2 favorites]

While I am very excited about this incremental step, frankly I think gender markers should be removed entirely from forms of ID. No worker should be deputized to determine another person's gender for identification purposes. Meanwhile, deep sigh, actually putting an X on your passport will probably negatively affect your treatment in some of the countries you may want to visit. Just please could we remove gender signifiers altogether?
posted by antinomia at 11:28 AM on March 31, 2022 [35 favorites]

Okay, good, now take legal action against Florida, Texas, and every other state passing laws designed at wiping trans people out of existence.
posted by Pope Guilty at 11:41 AM on March 31, 2022 [40 favorites]

Genders on passports, from what i understand, is part of an international agreement. X could just as easily mean "not sayin'" or "declined to answer." It's one of those things though that's entirely optional. I didn't get an X marker on my driver's license even though I could and even though it'd be more accurate because I didn't want to give a bad government an easy way to target me.

The TSA scanner change otoh is awesome if it really works.
posted by kokaku at 12:01 PM on March 31, 2022 [9 favorites]

kokaku, I also think the real awesome is buried in the part that says "your gender on your passport does not need to match that of your supporting documents" and that they no longer require medical documentation to change the gender marker.
posted by Liesl at 12:21 PM on March 31, 2022 [9 favorites]

Hopefully, the online forms for contacting federal representatives will be updated to not require binary gendered titles.
posted by Foosnark at 1:52 PM on March 31, 2022 [7 favorites]

Given what's happening at the state level these feel like big, important (if largely symbolic) changes.

Given what's happening at the state level, it's clear there is a long way to go before everyone in the country is able to be recognized as the people they are.
posted by heyitsgogi at 2:00 PM on March 31, 2022 [3 favorites]

Good, now pass ENDA with trans persons included, and let's get this nightmare over with.
posted by hippybear at 2:10 PM on March 31, 2022 [6 favorites]

I never for a minute believe we're anywhere close to where we want to be, but these stories bring courage and hope

on a personal note, I was in a Teams presentation today and the question of gender was raised (some newer hires weren't sure about a colleague with a name that tends to "read male" = Gerry) and saying out loud "they're a woman" felt odd in a way it never would've, 10 years ago. A simple correction of a basic fact, but today it's like.. "this person is a WOMAN" feels a bit like a label we are re-imagining.

I'm cis male and old enough to have aches and I think about this all the time now. We're moving in the right direction.
posted by elkevelvet at 2:15 PM on March 31, 2022 [2 favorites]

Veterans Affairs employee here. Today we got an email telling us the global VA Exchange system would allow us to add pronouns to our names, so that everyone in the directory nationwide would know our preferences.

I've had "he/him/his" appended to my signature block for a long while now, but actually having the pronouns appear as part of my official presented name? It's a small gesture but we have come an awful long way for that gesture to be possible inside a huge government agency.

The list of combinations available was pretty extensive, too.
posted by caution live frogs at 2:30 PM on March 31, 2022 [19 favorites]

I just went through the process to change my name and gender on my passport, and since its not obvious anywhere that I could find: you need to fill out the DS-11 and schedule an appointment at an acceptance facility to change your gender marker, even if you already have a valid passport and would otherwise be able to renew (form DS-82).

True, no documentation of gender change needed, but you do still have to schedule that appointment (3 week wait when I did it) and explain to a person that yes I have a valid passport but I'm here with a DS-11 because I'm actually a dude, which living in the South (see any of the many threads on Metafilter lately) is at least a little nerve wracking.

I hope that saves at least one person some grief because I'm still pretty salty about the whole thing.
posted by Is It Over Yet? at 2:33 PM on March 31, 2022 [23 favorites]

This is going to annoy all of exactly the right people so, so much.

Fox is going to froth. I approve.
posted by flabdablet at 2:36 PM on March 31, 2022 [3 favorites]

Mod note: Couple comments deleted; not sure if that was a joke or not, but this is not the place.
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 3:19 PM on March 31, 2022 [2 favorites]

Yay, progress! Good job, surprisingly progressive Biden!

However, unpleasant rant below

I'd be so, so much happier if I wasn't absolutely convinced that this was going to be used by the godamn fascists to list the people who need to be executed 'for the good of the state' after another Republican president or two. Ten years ago, yeah, I was getting the idea that they hated us (Whether through natural animosity or Fox propaganda, it matters not.) but it still seemed farfetched that freaking America would fall into such ludicrous extremity. (Yes, I know now that's white privilege. I was sheltered growing up.)

But now? I don't think trans rights have a foothold. I think the only, only thing holding Republicans back is the fig leaf of pretend legality. The packed Supreme Court is going to take care of that shortly, decimating voting rights, worker and minority protections, the environment, reproductive rights, personal freedoms except for the stupid and evil, LGBTQIA+ rights, and anything else they deem unacceptable. We aren't preventing election stealing, gerrymandering, voter suppression, the 'legal' groundwork to simply declare any and all Democratic votes invalid, cuz they feel like it. We aren't cutting off the propaganda, the hate speech, any pretense of balance in the media. Fox can say whatever it wants, and too many tens of millions drink that flavor-aid. The asylum has figured out that the door has been unlocked all along, that civilization is all pretend and if they put pants on head, wield torches, and just... burn it all down, nobody can stop them. There are no boundaries, there are no consequences, they can just.... destroy everything and nothing bad will happen to them as long as they stick together in committing more crimes that mean they stick together more.

Hundreds of increasingly anti LGBTQIA+ bills are getting proposed, at an astoundingly increasing rate. Too many are getting passed. With a tiny bit more power, what's to stop the Republican party from removing the right to gay marriage? To be openly gay? What protections will we have against Texas abortion bounty style laws when they are applied to doctors giving any medical treatment at all to transgender or queer people? Or 'knowingly renting a place to live to social undesirables'? Knowingly employing a gay person?

I sound like a lunatic. I know it. It disturbs me that I believe these things. I don't want to have to believe them. But I'm afraid to be myself to 2/3rds of my family. I'm afraid to be queer in Texas, Florida, Indiana, Kentucky, Kansas, Tennessee, Alabama. Much of the midwest. How much federal government oppression and persecution could California or New York or Oregon really protect me from if all three branches of the government are firmly controlled by the very people who hate me? What happens if the Republican party starts getting truly serious about, not just laws designed to hide the queer population, but purge us? How many good people would shrug or not put their lives on the line to stop murder?

Ok. That's all for now. Just remember, 'culture war' means war. Good luck, and I pray every day the looming dystopia I deeply fear is a figment of my imagination.

posted by Jacen at 6:36 PM on March 31, 2022 [21 favorites]

I wonder if the passport process changed in the past 2 years. When I did it in 2020, I mailed my passport, forms, and proof of name/gender change (the state court order). I think I did have to do it through an office but no appointment was needed, just a bunch of back and forth paper stamping.
posted by kokaku at 8:40 PM on March 31, 2022

Hopefully, the online forms for contacting federal representatives will be updated to not require binary gendered titles.
It depends who you're contacting. I regularly contact my senators and congressperson and at least one has Mx. as an option, but I'm not sure they all do. They all let you leave title blank though. (Pretty much all of that is clearly built from scratch by each of their offices, including the list of issues you're contacting them about, which differ widely.)
posted by blueberry monster at 8:25 AM on April 1, 2022

The TSA will have gender-neutral scanners. is a real dystopian sentence lmao
(seconding the general sentiments of "genuine yay!" and "sigh")
posted by gaybobbie at 8:00 AM on April 2, 2022 [1 favorite]

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