Public Comment

Trusted Traveler Program: Public Comment

August 2022

In June 2022, the Department of Homeland Security’s U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency requested comments on its proposal to update the Trusted Traveler Programs application to include an “X” gender marker option for applicants who may identify as non-binary, intersex, or gender non-conforming.

Public Comment

Issue

In June 2021, the U.S. State Department announced that it would offer a third gender option—“X”—on U.S. passports. The U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is proposing to update the application to its Trusted Traveler Programs (TTP) to include an “X” gender option in alignment with the State Department’s policy. TTP includes programs that allow expedited entry to the United States for pre-approved travelers and commercial drivers.

Impact

Without a third gender option, nonbinary, intersex, and gender-nonconforming applicants to the TTP would be unable to accurately report their gender identity. Approximately 11% of LGBTQ adults—1.2 million people—in the U.S. identify as nonbinary. Williams Institute research finds that 1.4% of the nonbinary LGBTQ population, about 16,700 people, are likely to seek passports with an “X” gender marker each year.

Summary

Scholars write in support of CBP’s proposed inclusion of a third gender marker on applications to the TTP. They provide legal and social science research to justify the addition and demonstrate its impact on nonbinary LGBTQ adults in the U.S.

Trusted Traveler Program: Public Comment