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According to a statement from the US State Department, the first American passport with a “X” gender marking was issued on Wednesday, aiming to allow nonbinary, intersex, and gender nonconforming people a marker other than male or female on their travel document.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in June that the X marker would be available as a passport option, following the lead of other countries such as Canada, Germany, Australia, and India, who already have a third gender choice on documents.
The United States is moving toward introducing the “X” gender marker as an option for persons seeking for U.S. passports or Consular Reports of Birth Abroad, according to State Department spokesperson Ned Price.
Price did not name the person who received the first “X” gender passport, but civil rights organisation Lambda Legal stated it was its client Dana Zzyym.
“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 nonbinary U.S. 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 recognizes I am neither, is liberating.” Zzyym was born with unclear sex features and uses the gender-neutral pronouns “they,” “them,” and “their.” Zzyym suffered many “irreversible, traumatic, and medically unnecessary procedures” after their parents decided to raise them as a boy, according to Lambda Legal.
According to the statement, Zzyym discovered they were born intersex after serving in the US Navy and attended Colorado State University. Zzyym’s previous applications for a passport were denied as they required the applicant to select either “male” or “female” as a gender marker.
“When you’re denied the access to go places it feels like a prison,” Zzyym said in a television interview on Wednesday. “I would really like to take a fishing trip down to like Costa Rica or Mexico or something … So that’s kind of like my first dream thing.”
Story by : Norvisi Mawunyegah