US issues the first passport with a gender neutral ‘X’ designation

US issues the first passport with a gender neutral ‘X’ designation

The United States has reached a milestone in inclusivity by issuing a passport designed with an “X” gender marking.

It’s a great step forward to recognise the rights of people who don’t identify as male or female. Early next year, the Department of State is also anticipated to offer options for intersex, nonbinary, and gender-nonconforming people, the State Department said on Wednesday.

“I want to reiterate, on the occasion of this passport issuance, the Department of State’s commitment to promoting the freedom, dignity, and equality of all people – including LGBTQI+ persons,” said Ned Price, a State Department spokesperson in a statement.

The US′ special diplomatic envoy for LGBTQ rights, Jessica Stern, also praised the historic moment, saying that the government documents would “reflect” the true identity of people on a broader scale.

“When a person obtains identity documents that reflect their true identity, they live with greater dignity and respect,” Stern said.

The department didn’t disclose to whom the passport was issued. A department spokesman refused to reveal if it was for Dana Zzyym, an intersex Colorado resident who uses they/them has been pursuing the agency in court since 2015, claiming that the government doesn’t typically discuss individual passport applications privacy reasons.

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For neglecting to check male or female on an application, Zzyym (pronounced Zimm) was denied a passport. In a separate letter, Zzyym put “intersex” above the boxes designated “M” and “F” and sought an “X” gender marker instead, according to court documents.

Zzyym also worked and studied at Colorado State University and served in the Navy as a male, but later came to identify as intersex. Unfortunately, they were unable to attend a meeting of Organization Intersex International in Mexico due to the department’s refusal of their passport.

In June, the State Department indicated that it was working on adding a third gender identifier but that it would require time because it would involve significant computer system modifications.

According to a department official, the passport application and system update with the “X” designation option must still be approved by the Office of Management and Budget, which reviews all government documents before they can be issued.

Applicants can now self-select their gender as male or female. They are no longer required to obtain medical confirmation if their gender does not match that on their other identifying documents.

The US, New Zealand, Australia, Canada, and Nepal, are the countries supporting citizens addressing what gender they identify with other than male or female.

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