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US Issues First Passport With Gender ‘X’ Option To Promote Inclusivity
By Mikelle Leow, 28 Oct 2021
Photo 11767744 © Chris Noble | Dreamstime.com
The first official US passport with the gender marker “X” has been issued by the State Department, acknowledging the difficulties nonbinary, gender-nonconforming, and intersex individuals have had to face when producing identification.
“The Department of State continues the process of updating its policies regarding gender markers on US passports and Consular Reports of Birth Abroad (CRBAs) to better serve all US citizens, regardless of their gender identity… moving towards adding an X gender marker for non-binary, intersex, and gender non-conforming persons applying for a U.S. passport or CRBA,” Ned Price, spokesperson for the State Department, details in the press release.
This comes after an update in June that allowed US applicants to choose M or F gender options without having to present medical certification, a move that countries like Australia,Canada, India, Malta, Nepal, and New Zealand have already adopted, NPR reports.
Lambda Legal confirmed that the first US passport with the third gender option was issued to Dana Zzyym, an intersex and nonbinary individual from Colorado. The law firm represented Zzyym in a case stressing the challenges of applying for a passport because their accurate gender was not being represented. The Biden administration agreed to make adjustments to the US passport following after.
“We don’t have to lie to get our passports,” said a triumphant Zzyym back in June. “We can just be ourselves."
The new option will be available to all passport applicants by early 2022, when the department finalizes the transition in its systems and forms.
The State Department’s spokesperson comments: “I want to reiterate, on the occasion of this passport issuance, the Department of State’s commitment to promoting the freedom, dignity, and equality of all people – including LGBTQI+ persons.”
[via NPR, cover photo 11767744 © Chris Noble | Dreamstime.com]
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