US issues first passport with 'X' gender marker

The step is designed to give non-binary, intersex and gender nonconforming people a marker other than male or female


Reuters October 28, 2021
A woman holds her and her child's passport. PHOTO: REUTERS

WASHINGTON:

The US State Department said on Wednesday it had issued the first American passport with an "X" gender marker, designed to give non-binary, 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 that the X marker would be offered as an option on passports, following other countries including Canada, Germany, Australia and India, which already offer a third gender 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 US passports or Consular Reports of Birth Abroad.

Also read: Netflix employees protest against Dave Chappelle's transgender comments

Price did not say who the first "X" gender passport was issued to, but civil rights organization Lambda Legal said its client Dana Zzyym was the recipient.

"I almost burst into tears when I opened the envelope, pulled out my new passport, and saw the 'X' stamped boldly under 'sex,'" Zzyym, an intersex and non-binary US Navy veteran, said in a statement on Wednesday.

"It took six years, but to have an accurate passport, one that doesn’t force me to identify as male or female but recognises I am neither, is liberating."

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