State Department sets new passport standards for gender transition

The State Department has announced a policy change that will allow transgender people to adjust their passports to reflect their new gender.

Before this change, the prerequisite to making a change of gender on a passport was sex reassignment surgery — an out of date requirement not reflective of current medical and social understanding of gender identity.

Rea Carey released a statement thanking the State Department for the change:

By issuing this policy change, the State Department has recognized that transgender people need to be able to travel and live with identity documents that accurately reflect who they are. The old policy regularly put transgender people at increased risk for harassment and violence. This update will go a long way to rectify this problem. We thank the State Department for taking this important step, and all the organizations that worked together to advocate for this change.

The Task Force and other LGBT rights organizations, many of which participate in the New Beginning Initiative, advocated for this policy change. The New Beginning Initiative is a group of expert LGBT groups coordinated by the Task Force to push for concrete federal administration policy and regulatory changes that directly benefit LGBT people and eliminate discrimination from federal policies. Click here to read more about policy changes won in part due to NBI efforts.