Saturday, September 23, 2023

Biden Unveils Gender-Neutral Passports on ‘Transgender Day of Visibility’

'Transgender Americans continue to face discrimination, harassment, and barriers to opportunity...'

(Headline USA) President Joe Biden is commemorating Transgender Day of Visibility by celebrating prominent transgender Americans and advocating against what his administration terms “dangerous anti-transgender legislative attacks” that have passed in statehouses across the country.

Biden on Thursday is announcing new measures aimed at making the federal government more inclusive for transgender people, including a new “X” gender marker on U.S. passport applications beginning on April 11 and new Transportation Security Administration scanners that are gender-neutral.

The Democratic president’s administration is working to expand the availability of the “X” gender marker to airlines and federal travel programs and will make it easier for transgender people to change their gender information in Social Security Administration records.

Visitors to the White House will soon also be able to select an “X” gender marker option in the White House Worker and Visitor Entry System, which is used to conduct screening background checks for visitors to the executive mansion.

“Transgender Americans continue to face discrimination, harassment, and barriers to opportunity,” Biden wrote in a proclamation marking the day. “In the past year, hundreds of anti-transgender bills in States were proposed across America, most of them targeting transgender kids. The onslaught has continued this year. These bills are wrong.”

Biden—whose own sexual proclivities were a subject of concern during the 2020 election, but not enough to deter Democratic support—has broken many barriers for bringing sexual deviancy into his administration, including the appointment of the country’s first dog-attracted drag queen to oversee the Energy Department’s nuclear waste disposal.

Biden also planned to release a video message to transgender Americans on Thursday.

Jeopardy! champion Amy Schneider, the first openly transgender winner on the quiz show, will visit the White House on Thursday to meet with second gentleman Doug Emhoff.

Emhoff, along with Admiral Rachel Levine, the assistant secretary for health at the Department of Health and Human Services, will also host a conversation with transgender kids and their parents at the White House.

In Florida, Education Secretary Miguel Cardona will meet with LGBT students in the wake of the state’s new anti-grooming law that bars instruction on sexual orientation and gender identity in kindergarten through the third grade.

Republicans argue that parents should broach these subjects with children. Democrats have claimed the law demonizes LGBT people by excluding them from classroom lessons, even though sexuality is not a normal discussion topic for children at that age group.

“Their conversation will focus on the impacts of Florida’s so-called ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill, students’ experiences at school and, in particular, support for LGBTQI+ student mental health and well-being,” the White House said.

HHS, the White House said, will also be the first agency to fly a trans pride flag.

Adapted from reporting by the Associated Press

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