The United States has issued the first passport with an “X” gender classification, signaling a significant step forward in the legal acknowledgment of persons who do not identify as male or female. By early 2022, the State Department aims to make this choice available to all non-binary, intersex, and gender non-conforming people seeking for a US passport.
In a statement, State Department representative Ned Price stated, “On the occasion of this passport issuance, I want to underscore the Department of State’s commitment to promoting the freedom, dignity, and equality of all people – including LGBTQI+ persons.”
“Every transgender or non-binary individual should have the choice of altering their gender marker to ‘M,’ ‘F,’ or ‘X’ on official identifications, passports, and other papers,” said President Joe Biden during his campaign.
The narrative begins in 2015 when Dana Zzyym filed a lawsuit against the State Department for refusing to award them a passport because they were intersex. Zzyym was born with sex features that were unclear. Despite their parents’ decision to raise them as boys, Zzyym, a former Navy sailor, eventually discovered they were born intersex. The State Department accused of breaching Zzyym’s constitutional rights by refusing them a passport that appropriately reflected their gender, according to their lawsuit.
“I’ve been at this struggle for so long,” Zzyym remarked in June when the State Department revealed its plan to expand gender options on US passports. I am hopeful that… I will acquire a valid passport shortly. One that portrays my true self and will enable me to present in person at the various international conferences to which I’ve been asked to speak on intersex problems.”
The State Department is dedicated to advancing all people’s freedom, dignity, and equality, including LGBTQI+ individuals. President Biden has taken multiple executive measures since taking office, indicating this administration’s commitment to human rights, and has urged agencies across the federal government to take meaningful steps to promote and safeguard the human rights of LGBTQI+ people around the world.
Today, I am delighted to announce that the Department will begin the process of amending our processes for the issue of U.S. passports and Consular Reports of Birth Abroad to ensure the equal treatment of LGBTQI+ U.S. citizens, regardless of their gender or sex (CRBA).
Due to privacy considerations, the State Department has neither verified nor denied whether the passport was granted for Zzyym. The United States is not alone in making this decision. Non-binary gender choices are also available on passports in a number of nations throughout the world, including Bangladesh, India, the Netherlands, Denmark, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.