Just in time for national LGBT Pride Month, the U.S. State Department announced yesterday that it will no longer require individuals to have undergone gender reassignment surgery in order to change the sex marker shown on their passports. Instead, there will only be a requirement to obtain a certification from a medical physician that states the individual has been appropriately treated for gender transition. This will allow those individuals who are financially unable to go through sexual reassignment surgery, or who have for other reasons opted not to have surgery, to change their passports to reflect their correct gender identity.
Mara Keisling, executive director of National Center for Transgender Equality, said of the policy change, “We want to extend our thanks to the Obama Administration, and particularly to Secretary of State Hilary Clinton, for understanding the need for this change and then responding to make travel safer for transgender people.”
Keisling went on to say that this is an example of how government policy can be changed to make people’s lives better.
The new policy is based on recommendations from the World Professional Association for Transgender Health, a widely recognized authority on transgender health issues.