trans equality

The State Department is Revoking Trans Womens’ Passports as We March Ever Closer to The Handmaid’s Tale

This administration's assault on trans people continues.
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The full scale assault on transgender rights from the Trump administration has spread to the State Department, which is retroactively revoking the passports of trans women. Trans activist Danni Askini, who transitioned as a minor, held a passport with her confirmed gender identity for 20 years, until a routine passport renewal was flagged by the State Department.

“Make no mistake, this was an intentional action by the State Department to withhold recognizing my gender,” says Askini, whose need for a passport was a matter of life and death. After a series of death threats from alt-right and anti-trans organizations, Askini sought refuge in Sweden, but the repeated delays regarding her passport renewal kept her in harm’s way. Askini was finally granted a temporary 2-year passport, allowing her to travel to Sweden.

Askini isn’t the only trans woman dealing with this problem. Janus Rose, a tech researcher in New York, encountered similar problems when she tried updating her name on her passport. “She basically told me that even though the government had changed my gender marker in the last year, that was a mistake,” she said.

“It seems like they’re applying a different standard of enforcement to these cases now. I’ve never heard of a person having a problem changing their name on a passport until now,” says Rose.

Whatever new policies or directives the State Department has issued joins the lengthy list of moves this administration is making on LGBTQ people. Whether it’s the trans military ban or the rolling back of school protections, this all amounts to a calculated attack on trans people and their rights.

(via Them, image: Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

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Chelsea Steiner
Chelsea was born and raised in New Orleans, which explains her affinity for cheesy grits and Britney Spears. An pop culture journalist since 2012, her work has appeared on Autostraddle, AfterEllen, and more. Her beats include queer popular culture, film, television, republican clownery, and the unwavering belief that 'The Long Kiss Goodnight' is the greatest movie ever made. She currently resides in sunny Los Angeles, with her husband, 2 sons, and one poorly behaved rescue dog. She is a former roller derby girl and a black belt in Judo, so she is not to be trifled with. She loves the word “Jewess” and wishes more people used it to describe her.