“This moment is, in large part, the culmination of Dana and Lambda Legal’s relentless activism, demanding the federal government recognize all people— regardless of the gender binary—as valid and worthy of recognition and respect.”
Today, on Transgender Day of Visibility, the Biden-Harris administration announced several actions to address barriers that prevent transgender people from accessing critical government services, support the mental health of transgender children, and improve the visibility of transgender people in federally collected data. Notably, one of the actions announced today is that, on April 11, 2022, the U.S. Department of State will update passport applications to include an option for an “X” gender marker. In October of last year, as a result of Lambda Legal’s groundbreaking Zzyym v. Blinkin lawsuit, Dana Zzyym, an intersex and nonbinary U.S. Navy veteran, secured an accurate passport from the U.S. Department of State that did not force them to identify as male or female and became the first U.S. citizen to receive an official U.S. passport with an “X” sex/gender marker. That option will finally be available to all intersex, transgender, nonbinary, and gender-nonconforming U.S. citizens.
“When Dana Zzyym first embarked on their journey to get the country they fought for to recognize them as the person they truly are on their passport, they weren’t just fighting for themselves, they were always fighting for all intersex, transgender, nonbinary, and gender-nonconforming people,” said Staff Attorney at Lambda Legal, Avatara Smith-Carrington. “This moment is, in large part, the culmination of Dana and Lambda Legal’s relentless activism, demanding the federal government recognize all people— regardless of the gender binary—as valid and worthy of recognition and respect. I want to applaud the President and his administration for the thoughtful declaration of support for our community, but most importantly, I want to thank them for backing up their words with meaningful actions that will help so many. Words are great, but actions are better.”
Other announcements include actions that will decrease the harassment transgender, gender-nonconforming, and nonbinary (TGNCNB) people experience in the TSA process when traveling, eliminating the requirement that transgender people prove their gender when changing gender markers with the Social Security Administration, new resources for transgender youth and their families, improved access to federal services and benefits for TGNCNB people, advances in inclusion and visibility in federal data, and further formal recognition of the clinical evidence supporting evidence-based care for LGBTQ youth by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
“The list of actions being taken by the administration is vast,” added Smith-Carrington. “It is clear to me that Lambda Legal’s advocacy and the advocacy of all of those in the movement for transgender rights is important. At Lambda Legal, we look forward to continuing to work side-by-side with the Biden-Harris administration to ensure that all transgender and nonbinary people in this country are treated equally and with the dignity and respect that we deserve.”
For information on all actions taken today by the Biden-Harris administration, please visit: https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/statements-releases/2022/03/31/fact-sheet-biden-harris-administration-advances-equality-and-visibility-for-transgender-americans/