In a sign that the travel industry is moving toward embracing inclusivity, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is offering a new gender option on applications for its TSA PreCheck program. Applicants will now be able to select “another gender” in addition to “male” and “female” options.
“TSA remains committed to ensuring all travelers are treated with respect and dignity,” said TSA Administrator David Pekoske. “This new TSA PreCheck enrollment feature reaffirms our commitment to equality and inclusion for all people, including the LGBTQI+ community.”
In announcing the new option, the agency noted that since April 2022, is has allowed applicants to select their gender based on self-attestation, regardless of the sex assigned to them at birth. The TSA has also put other measures in place to make travel more comfortable to transgender, nonbinary, and gender-nonconforming passengers.
These efforts include reducing pat-down screenings and introducing Advanced Imaging Technology (AIT) units that rely on gender-neutral, rather than gender-specific, algorithms.
The State Department, too, is embracing gender inclusivity. Since April 11, 2022, U.S. citizens applying for a passport have been able to select an X as their gender marker. "When a person obtains identity documents that reflect their true identity, they live with greater dignity and respect," Jessica Stern, U.S. special diplomatic envoy for LGBTQ rights, told the Associated Press, adding that this third option brings passports in line with the “lived reality” that there is a wider spectrum of human sex characteristics beyond those reflected by “male” and “female” designations.