June 10, 2010

Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund Applauds New State Department Policy on Passport Gender Changes

Policy Will Protect Transgender Americans Traveling Abroad

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - The Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund (TLDEF) applauds the State Department's adoption today of new policy guidelines allowing transgender Americans to change the gender in their passports.  Beginning today, when a passport applicant presents a doctor's certification that he or she has undergone treatment for gender transition, their passport will reflect the new gender.  Sex reassignment surgery is no longer required to change the gender on an American passport.

"Transgender Americans face extreme danger when traveling abroad in the many countries that are hostile to them.  Adoption of this safety-focused policy is a giant step forward in protecting transgender Americans abroad, and in fulfilling the State Department's commitment to protect all Americans when they travel, work or live overseas," said TLDEF executive director Michael D. Silverman.

Under the new policy, it is also possible to obtain a temporary passport in the new gender if a physician's statement shows that an applicant is in the process of gender transition.