Get Over It

US immigration adds “another” gender box to its forms and right-wingers are howling

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) updated one of their applications to become more inclusive and conservatives aren’t having it.

On Monday, USCIS made a major update to their Form N-400, the naturalization application, to have male, female, and “another gender identity” as options for applicants to select. USCIS confirmed the changed in an email with Newsweek stating that this “is the first USCIS form to include a third gender option, ‘X’, defined as ‘Another Gender Identity.'” While the “X gender option” is not available on other USCIS forms, the change was made to make “naturalization accessible to all those who are eligible” and to reduce “barriers to obtaining immigration benefits.”

But the update has right-wingers in a frenzy. Various right-wing accounts, like RedWave Press, EndWokeness, and The Rogue Politico, were up in arms about the update, with some asking if this was an April Fools joke.

Other comments under USCIS’ tweet reiterated (erroneously) that there are only two genders. Regardless of what these folks think, the change is expected to help numerous LGBTQ+ folks seeking to immigrate to the United States. According to the UCLA’s Williams Institute there’s “an estimated 1,274,500 LGBT foreign-born adults live in the U.S., including 289,700 who are undocumented and 984,800 who are documented.”

This change supports queer people who exist outside of the gender binary as they navigate the already strenuous process of immigration, while not compromising their identity in the process. The update comes on the heels of USCIS’ 2021 passport update that added an “X” gender marker to the document and removed the medical requirement needed for individuals to edit their gender marker on their passports and consular forms.

According to National Center for Transgender Equality’s US Trans Survey, “11% of respondents reported that all of their IDs had the name and gender they preferred” and “68% reported that none of their IDs had the name and gender they preferred.” When this is paired with immigration documents that are focused on the gender binary, the immigration process becomes more complicated. Now this update creates an avenue for queer and trans people seeking naturalization to have an easier process.

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