Passports and Transgender US Citizens

Cynthia Gonsalves and Emma Humphries

These are some edited notes and talking points from a meeting we had with our US representative, Zoe Lofgren (D, CA), after several trans people reported problems with getting or renewing passports during the Summer of 2018.

This is the problem

Transgender citizens, naturalized and native, need updated identity documents to participate in life.

and this is how it affects people

Identity documents are required for international travel, and nearly all domestic travel. Many states require them to vote. They are a necessity for employment, and contracts. Non-white US residents face a higher risk of being asked to prove citizenship, or face detention and deportation regardless of status.

and you can solve it

By using the Congress’ power to appropriate, investigate, and legislate to support trans people’s ability to continue to obtain passports in their chosen name and gender.

and if you don’t, these are the consequences

Transgender Americans will have to travel under old identity documents and risk abuse. They will face difficulties voting, proving eligibility for employment, and signing contracts. And trans people of color will face detention and violence at the hands of ICE.

🛂 A passport affords…

🌍 International travel

🛫 Domestic air travel when state DL does not meet Real ID requirements

🗳️ Voter ID in states with strict voter ID requirements

📑 Proof of identity for notaries, contracts, legal proceedings

💵 Proof of right to work in the US

🇺🇸 Proof of citizenship and gender to ICE and other law enforcement

To get a passport

To update passport if transitioning

Complications at Federal level

Complications at state level