Last year, the Trump Administration banned the CDC from using the word "transgender" along with several six other words: "vulnerable," "entitlement," “diversity," "fetus," "evidence-based," and "science-based."
Now they're reportedly going one step further against the transgender community by retroactively revoking transgender women's passports. Them's Mary Emily O'Hara reports at least two women with U.S. passports said the State Department denied their request for passport renewal. For each of these cases, the State Department already approved the gender change on previous passports.
In one instance, Danni Askini, who transitioned at 16 years old in 1998, said her passport held her correct gender for twenty years—meaning she would have renewed at least once in her lifetime. But this time around her passport was denied renewal on the basis that she "failed to disclose" she was transgender and they would need proof that she underwent a gender transition.
"Make no mistake, this was an intentional action by the State Department to withhold recognizing my gender," Askini told Them.
Askini also went to Twitter to talk about the situation. "Today I was denied a renewal of my US Passport and told I would need to get a judge to unseal child welfare records from Foster care in order to "prove" my US Citizenship. Despite having had all "Female" ID since 1999, they are now demanding "Proof of Transition" for the 1st time." She was later given a two-year temporary passport for her trip to Sweden from her hometown, Seattle.
Another woman, Janus Rose, said she's run into the same issue with the State Department.
"Wow. The U.S. passport office just called and told me that due to an 'error,' the government has *retroactively invalidated* the change of gender marker it authorized on my passport last year," read her tweet. "They won’t renew my passport w/ correct name & gender until I submit a new doctors note." Rose said she included a doctor's note with her application "just in case" but it appears it wasn't enough to get her passport renewed.
Them reached out to the State Department and received the following statement: "Every applicant who applies for a U.S. passport undergoes extensive vetting of their identity, claim to U.S. citizenship and entitlement to a passport," it read. "When a passport applicant presents a certification from a medical physician stating that the applicant has undergone or is receiving appropriate clinical treatment for gender transition, a new passport will be issued with an updated gender marker. Sexual reassignment surgery is not a prerequisite for updating the gender marker in a passport and documents proving sexual reassignment surgery are not required."
However, when Rose spoke with a clinic about the incident, they relayed that they never saw someone denied a passport renewal for a gender change.