U.S. Issues Its First Passport with ‘X’ Gender Marker

The United States has issued on Oct. 27 its first passport with an “X” gender marker, acknowledging those who do not identify as male or female.

The State Department said in a statement that it expects the passports with the “X” designation to become more widely available in early 2022.

U.S. Special Diplomatic Envoy for LGBTQ Rights Jessica Stern said that the move was to reflect the “lived reality” of people with non-conforming sex characteristics.

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

The State Department also said they no longer require medical certification to change a person’s gender marker on their passport.

While the State Department did not say to whom the passport was issued, nonprofit LGBTQ group Lambda Legal confirmed that its intersex and nonbinary client Dana Zzyym received the first official passport with an “X” gender marker.

“I almost burst into tears when I opened the envelope, pulled out my new passport, and saw the ‘X’ stamped boldly under ‘sex,'” Zzyym said.

“I’m also ecstatic that other intersex and nonbinary U.S. citizens will soon be able to apply for passports with the correct gender marker,” Zzyym further said, adding  that getting the passport was “liberating.”

Zzyym sued the State Department in 2015 for denying them a passport that reflected their gender.

Human Rights Campaign commended the State Department for the “historic” move, saying that it “will mitigate the risk of discrimination, harassment, and violence faced by millions of nonbinary, intersex, and gender non-conforming Americans who travel abroad.”

Other countries that have issued passports with gender markers other than male or female include New Zealand, Nepal, and India.


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