Saturday, November 27, 2021

USA issues its first passport with gender marker X

DENVER (NWN) – The United States has issued its first gender “X” passport, which marks a milestone in recognizing the rights of people who do not identify as men or women and hopes to be able to offer that opportunity. more widely next year, the State Department said Wednesday.

The department did not identify the recipient of the passport, but Dana Zzim, an intersex activist based in Fort Collins, Colorado, told The Associated Press in a telephone interview that they received it. Since 2015, Zzym, who prefers a gender-neutral pronoun, has been in litigation with the State Department for a passport. this did not require Zzyim to lie about gender when choosing a man or a woman.

Zim (pronounced Zimm) picked up a UPS package with a passport after receiving a text message and phone call early in the morning from their lawyer, Paul Castillo of Lambda Legal, that the package had arrived. Zzyym stayed up late to mark Intersex Awareness Day, with two activists.

Zzim, 63, said getting a passport was exciting, but the goal was to help the next generation of intersex people gain recognition as full citizens rather than travel the world, Zziim said.

“I’m not a problem. I am human. That’s just the point, ”said Zzim, who has a tattoo on his arm that says“ Never Give Up ”- a reminder of the goals to be achieved in life.

Zzyim was born with ambiguous physical sex characteristics, but grew up as a child and underwent several surgeries that resulted in Zzyim not looking fully male, according to court records. Zzym served in the Navy as a man, but later identified as intersex while working and studying at Colorado State University. The State Department’s denial of Zzym’s passport denied Zzyma the opportunity to attend two Intersex International Organization meetings.

Zim would like to travel to another advocacy conference as soon as they resume after the pandemic, or perhaps go sea fishing in Costa Rica, but with a fixed income, he says a fishing trip to Canada might make more sense.

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Lawyers who praised Zzyym’s work said the decision by the United States to join more than a dozen countries that allow third-gender selection would allow people to travel as real individuals and, perhaps, do so in greater safety.

“Intersex, non-binary and transgender people need identity documents that accurately reflect our identity, and inconsistent documents can create security and visibility issues,” said Mary Emily O’Hara of GLAAD, the world’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. and a queer organization (LGBTQ) in the media,

US Special Envoy for LGBTQ Rights Jessica Stern, said the decision aligns government documents with a “living reality” that there is a wider range of human sex characteristics than reflected in the previous two designations.

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

In June, the State Department said it was moving towards adding a third gender marker. for non-binary, intersex and gender non-conforming people, but it will take time due to the necessary updates of his computer systems. In addition, a department official said the passport application and system update with the ‘X’ designation option is still awaiting approval from the Office of Management and Budget, which signs all government forms.

The department now also allows applicants to self-select their gender as male or female, no longer requiring them to provide medical certificates if their gender does not match the gender on other identity documents.

Stern said her office plans to share the US experience of changing interactions around the world, and hopes it can help inspire other governments to propose this option.

“We see this as a way of affirming and uplifting the human rights of trans and intersex and gender non-conforming and non-binary people around the world,” she said.


NWN diplomatic writer Matthew Lee of Washington contributed to this report.

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