Biden Administration Introduces ‘X’ as a Third Gender Identity Option for Immigrants

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), a branch of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) under the Biden administration, declared the inclusion of a third gender option, labeled as “X,” for immigrants pursuing U.S. citizenship. This update was conveyed via an announcement on the USCIS website, marking a shift away from the conventional binary gender selections of “Male (M)” and “Female (F)” on USCIS forms and associated paperwork.

USCIS affirmed its dedication to promoting inclusivity within the naturalization process by stating, “We have updated Form N-400, Application for Naturalization, to offer a third gender option, ‘X,’ designated as ‘Another Gender Identity.’” The agency further highlighted that adjustments to the USCIS Policy Manual would mirror this form modification and forthcoming adaptations to include a third gender option.

The introduction of the “X” gender option coincides with a policy shift targeting the substantial obstacles encountered by individuals whose gender identity falls outside the binary categorizations of male or female. A policy alert issued by USCIS emphasized the administrative challenges faced by applicants submitting documents with a gender designation other than “M” or “F.”

The announcement elicited criticism from individuals questioning the timing of the change, particularly given ongoing concerns regarding border security. Notably, Stephen Miller, a former advisor to President Donald Trump, portrayed the decision as a component of the Biden administration’s broader immigration policy agenda.

“The Biden Administration has just launched a new [campaign] to convert transgender migrants into U.S. citizens,” he said.

NewsNation reporter Ali Bradley quipped “Crossing the border is inclusive.”

The USCIS announced this update on April 1, prompting some users to jokingly question if it was an “April Fool’s” prank. Nonetheless, the addition of the third gender option sparked controversy on social media platforms, particularly on X, where conservative accounts swiftly shared an image of the application featuring the “X” gender option.

President Joe Biden and administration officials faced increased scrutiny following social media posts commemorating Transgender Day of Visibility. Critics, including Rep. Andy Biggs (R-AZ), used these events to condemn what they perceived as the administration’s emphasis on pro-LGBTQ+ policies over border security concerns.

Certain mainstream media outlets have commended the introduction of the “X” gender option, asserting that it aligns with broader efforts to promote gender inclusivity in official documents and procedures.

Initiatives such as allowing U.S. citizens to designate “X” as their gender on passports and accepting “X” as a gender marker for TSA PreCheck applications aim to better accommodate transgender, non-binary, and gender-nonconforming individuals.

According to these sources, the updated version of Form N-400 represents a notable step forward in promoting gender inclusivity throughout the naturalization process. Starting from April 1, individuals applying for U.S. citizenship will have the immediate choice to designate “X” as their gender identity. Furthermore, USCIS has established protocols for individuals with pending applications submitted prior to April 1, 2024, to request modifications to their gender identity information.

USCIS has also pledged to incorporate this option into additional forms in the future, offering explicit guidance for applicants to indicate the “X” gender option for their particular benefit requests.