The US State Department announced Wednesday that it has issued the first US passport with a gender X marker for non-binary, intersex, and gender non-conforming individuals.
In a posting on the department’s website, spokesman Ned Price said the move is a consequence of Secretary of State Anthony Blinken’s June commitment to make the third gender marker available, “another step towards ensuring fair treatment of LGBTQI + US citizens, regardless of on whether your gender or gender. “
Price said the State Department will offer the option to all passport applicants once the system and form are updated early next year. The Department will also provide updates and information on its website.
In comments to the Associated Press (AP) on Wednesday, US Special Envoy for LGBTQ + Rights Jessica Stern said the move was “historic and celebratory,” noting that they are aligning government travel documents with the “living reality” that exists. … a wider range of human sexual characteristics than reflected in the two previous designations.
“When a person receives identity documents that reflect their true identity, they live with great dignity and respect,” Stern said.
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) approved the move.
“Today is a milestone for the United States as the Department of State issues the first ‘X’ passport, and we are so pleased that soon all transgender, intersex and non-binary people will be able to access an accurate marker on their passport. The ACLU will continue to work with the Biden administration to ensure accurate gender markers are available on identity cards and records across the federal government, ”the group said in a statement.
The State Department did not disclose to whom the original X-gender passport was issued, although AP says intersex Colorado resident Dana Zzyem has been in litigation with the department since 2015.
Zzyym (pronounced Zimm) was denied a passport because he did not verify the man or woman on the application. According to court documents, Zzym wrote “intersex” over the fields marked “M” and “F” and asked for the gender marker “X” to be placed in a separate letter instead.
The United States joins several countries, including Australia, New Zealand, Nepal and Canada, in allowing its citizens to indicate a gender other than male or female on their passports.
Stern told AP that her office plans to share the US experience with changes in its interactions around the world, and she said she hopes this will help inspire more governments to offer such an opportunity.
Some information for this report was obtained from the Associated Press.