Americans will be able to choose an X for gender on their passport applications starting April 11, one of the reforms the Biden administration announced Thursday to improve the traveler experience for transgender and nonbinary people.
In an announcement made on Transgender Day of Visibility, the White House also said the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) would update its body scanners to not be gender-based and will enable "X" gender markers on PreCheck enrollment.
"For far too long, transgender, nonbinary and gender nonconforming Americans have faced significant barriers to traveling safely and many have not had their gender identity respected as they travel within the United States and around the world," the administration said in a statement.
The White House called being able to choose "X" as a gender on passport applications a "major step" in delivering on Biden's commitment to expand access to accurate identification documents for transgender and nonbinary Americans.
The administration said the TSA would also work more closely with airlines to promote the use and acceptance of the "X" gender marker. Today, both United Airlines and American Airlines allow customers to identify as gender-neutral. The White House said a third major airline is planning to offer this option starting this fall.
The TSA's update to its Advanced Imaging Technology (AIT) body scanners will replace the current, gender-based system with new technology that the White House said will improve the customer experience of transgender and nonbinary travelers who have previously been required to undergo additional screening due to alarms in sensitive areas. The TSA will begin deploying this new technology in airports throughout the country later this year.