WASHINGTON — Americans will soon have the option to get a passport with “X” listed as the gender.

The change goes into effect on April 11, the U.S. Department of State announced Thursday.

The state department says the option will also be available on other forms of documentation in 2023 but did not elaborate on which forms of documentation.

The X, the state department explains, is defined as “unspecified or another gender identity.” This is to protect the privacy of any individuals choosing to use that gender marker.

In a related shift, starting in June, Americans will be able to choose the gender on their passport for themselves. Previously, the gender marker has been determined by other legal documentation and sometimes required medical documentation.

“The Department is setting a precedent as the first federal government agency to offer the X gender marker on an identity document,” the U.S. Department of State said in a news release. “When we announced in June that we had begun this work, we referred to the addition of a third gender marker for non-binary, intersex, and gender non-conforming individuals. Since then, we have solicited public feedback through the notice and comment process we undertook to update our passport application forms.”

Information on how to apply for a passport with this new option can be found on the state department website.

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