The Social Security Administration (SSA) announced Wednesday that Americans can now self-select their gender when filling out records.
The SSA has implemented the change and the new option is available now, according to a statement from the agency.
“The Social Security Administration’s Equity Action Plan includes a commitment to decrease administrative burdens and ensure people who identify as gender diverse or transgender have options in the Social Security Number card application process,” Acting Commissioner Kilolo Kijakazi said.
“This new policy allows people to self-select their sex in our records without needing to provide documentation of their sex designation,” the statement added.
The new process notes that a person who updates their gender or “sex marker” in SSA records will need to apply for a replacement Social Security card. A document will be required to prove identity, but no medical or legal proof will be required to determine a person’s gender identity.
The agency’s policy will now accept a person identifying as either male or female on forms, even if the gender is different from the designation assigned on other documents such as a passport or driver’s license.
The statement noted that the agency does not currently include the option to select non-binary or unspecified as an option. Instead, the agency is “exploring” possible future policy changes to support an “X” designation.
The updated policy follows the announcement of the plans to do so in March. Kijakazi noted at the time that the agency “is committed to reducing barriers and ensuring the fair treatment of the LGBTQ+ community by updating our procedures for Social Security number records.”
The move is one of several gender policy changes implemented since President Joe Biden entered office. In June 2021, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said that the State Department would add another “gender marker” and allow people to choose whether they were marked male or female regardless of medical documentation.
“Most immediately, we will be updating our procedures to allow applicants to self-select their gender as ‘M’ or ‘F’ and will no longer require medical certification if an applicant’s self-selected gender does not match the gender on their other citizenship or identity documents,” Blinken said.
The Daily Wire previously reported that a study by UCLA’s School of Law Williams Institute estimated how many “nonbinary LGBTQ adults” living in the U.S. “might request” a “Gender-X” marking on their U.S. passports.
The report noted, “We estimate that 1.4% of the nonbinary LGBTQ population in the U.S., or 16,700 people, may request passports with an X gender marker each year. This estimate is based upon current demand for X gender markers on driver’s licenses in states which allow such an option.”
Similar changes have been made at other government agencies, including the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). HUD now allows homeless transgender people to access shelters formerly reserved for the opposite sex.