US issues its first passport with an X gender classification to reflect ‘lived reality’ | gay rights

The United States released its first passport with an “X” gender designation — a milestone in recognizing the rights of people who do not identify as male or female — and expects to be able to offer the option more broadly next year, the State Department said Wednesday.

The US special diplomatic envoy for LGBT rights, Jessica Stern, called the steps historic and celebratory, saying they brought government documents in line with the “lived reality” that there is a broader spectrum of human sexual characteristics than is reflected in the two previous ones. appointments.

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

The department did not announce who issued the passport. A department official declined to say if it involved Dana Zazim, a bisexual Colorado resident who has been in a legal battle with the department since 2015, saying the department does not usually discuss individual passport applications due to privacy concerns.

The Zzyym (pronounced Zimm) passport was refused for failing to verify a male or female in an application. According to court documents, Zzyym wrote “intersex” over the squares marked with “M” and “F” and asked for the gender sign “X” instead in a separate letter.

Zzyym was born with ambiguous physical sex characteristics but grew up as a boy and underwent several surgeries that failed to make Zzyym look fully male, according to court filings.

Zzyym served in the Navy as a male but later came to be identified as intersex while working and studying at Colorado State University. The department’s refusal of Zzyym’s passport prevented Zzyym from traveling to an Intersex International meeting in Mexico.

The US State Department announced in June that it was moving toward adding a third gender label for non-binary, intersex and gender non-conforming people, but said it would take some time.

An administration official said a full passport application and a system update with the “X” designation option still needed OMB approval.

The department now also allows applicants to self-select their gender, and they no longer need a medical certificate if their gender does not match those listed on their other identification documents.

The United States joins a handful of countries, including Australia, New Zealand, Nepal and Canada, in allowing its citizens to specify a gender other than male or female on their passports.

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