United States issues first passport with option to mark gender as ‘X’

The United States has issued the first passport in the world that has an option to mark a persons gender as ‘X’.

The U.S. State Department announced today, Wednesday, October 27, that it had issued the first American passport with an “X” gender marker. The passport has been designed to give nonbinary, intersex and gender-nonconforming people a marker other than male or female on their travel document, according to a statement.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced in June 2021 that the X marker would be offered as an option on passports. Other countries including Canada, Germany, Australia and India already offer a third gender marker on documents.

State Department spokesperson Ned Price said in a statement that the United States was moving toward adding the “X” gender marker as an option for those applying for U.S. passports or Consular Reports of Birth Abroad.

Civil rights organization Lambda Legal said its client Dana Zzyym was the recipient of the first “X” gender passport.

“I almost burst into tears when I opened the envelope, pulled out my new passport, and saw the ‘X’ stamped boldly under ‘sex. It took six years, but to have an accurate passport, one that doesn’t force me to identify as male or female but recognizes I am neither, is liberating,” said Zzyym, an intersex and nonbinary U.S. Navy veteran in a statement today.

Zzyym, who uses gender-neutral pronouns “they,” “them” and “their,” was born with ambiguous sex characteristics. Lambda Legal said in the statement that Zzyym underwent several “irreversible, painful, and medically unnecessary surgeries” after their parents decided to raise them as a boy. His previous applications for a passport were denied as they required the applicant to select either “male” or “female” as a gender marker.

“When you’re denied the access to go places it feels like a prison. I would really like to take a fishing trip down to Costa Rica or Mexico or something … So that’s kind of like my first dream thing,” added Zzyym.

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Ron Howells

Ron actually started his working career as an Ophthalmic Technician- things changed when, during a band rehearsal, his amplifier blew up and he couldn’t get it fixed so he took a course at Birmingham University and ended up doing a degree course. He built up a chain of electronics stores and sold them as a franchise over 35 years ago. After five years touring the world Ron decided to move to Spain with his wife and son, a place they had visited over the years, and only bought the villa they live in because it has a guitar-shaped swimming pool!. Playing the guitar since the age of 7, he can often be seen, (and heard!) at beach bars and clubs along the length of the coast. He has always been interested in the news and constantly thrives to present his articles in an interesting and engaging way.


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