US airport security screening to be more gender-neutral

The Biden administration says security at U.S. airports will become more gender-neutral

WASHINGTON – U.S. airport security systems will become more gender-neutral, changing the scanners used for screening and using an “X” for passengers going through prechecks who are not identified as male or female, the Biden administration said Thursday.

Transportation Security Administration officers will also receive new screening instructions aimed at making procedures less aggressive, the Department of Homeland Security said in a statement.

These are part of a series of travel-safety measures announced by the department on the occasion of Transgender Day of Visibility. President Joe Biden marks the day by advocating against his administration’s “dangerous anti-transgender legislation attack” that has passed in state buildings across the country.

“DHS is committed to the safety of the traveling public and ensures that everyone is treated with respect, regardless of gender identity,” Secretary Alejandro Mayorcas said in a statement.

The use of the pronoun “X” in the TSA PreCheck Advanced Security program will begin April 11, and it is already intended to keep pace with the identity documents that include that option, DHS said. A new “X” gender marker in US passport applications will also be launched on April 11.

Later this year, TSA will begin using scanners with new technology that will replace gender-based systems and “for the purpose of advancing civil rights and improving the customer experience.”

The TSA will work with airlines to promote the acceptance of “X” gender identifiers and update the guidelines for airport security screening officers to remove gender considerations when verifying documents, DHS said.

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