United States issues first passport with gender marker “X”


The United States issued its first US passport with an “X” gender marker, recognizing the rights of people who do not identify as male or female, the State Department said Wednesday.

The department said in a statement that it would extend the gender-neutral option to all applicants next year after updating its policies on passports and U.S. citizenship certificates for children born abroad. He said he was working with other government agencies to “ensure as smooth a travel experience as possible for all passport holders, regardless of their gender identity.”

A spokesperson for the department declined to identify the recipient of the passport, citing confidentiality considerations. Lambda Legal, a national civil rights organization, said on Wednesday that the passport was issued to Dana Zzyym, an intersex military veteran.

In 2015, Lambda Legal filed a lawsuit with the U.S. District Court in Colorado against the State Department on behalf of Zzyym after Zzyym was denied a gender-neutral passport. Zzyym’s original birth certificate identified them as a male, and their driver’s license listed them as a female, according to court documents.

The court ruled in Zzyym’s favor in 2016, but Lambda Legal said in a statement it had asked a federal court to reopen the case because the State Department continued to “refuse to recognize a gender marker which is neither ‘M’ (male) nor ‘F’ (female).

In 2018, a judge again found the State Department had violated the law, and last year the Colorado 10th Circuit Court of Appeals referred the case back to lower court, Paul Castillo, a Lambda Legal lawyer working with Zzyym, mentioned.

In a telephone interview, Zzyym, 63, said the envelope containing the passport arrived at their home in Fort Collins, Colo., As they were out on Wednesday morning. The passport contains the usual information – name, place of birth, expiration date – but there was the long-awaited “X” in the section under “gender”.

“I feel good standing up for myself and other intersex and non-conforming people,” Zzyym said.

The State Department said in its statement Wednesday that the new gender-neutral option was part of a “commitment to promote freedom, dignity and equality for all.”

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