For the first time in history, a US passport has been issued acknowledging a third gender.
Previously, medical certificates were mandatory to change the gender of a person from what it is on the birth certificate.
The United States (US) State Department has issued a passport with ‘X’ written in the gender column. ‘X’ stands for those who identify as non-binary. The option of selecting an ‘X’ (non-binary) alongside ‘M’ (male) and ‘F’ (female) will be routinely available from early 2022 for Americans on passports and birth certificates.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced in June that the X marker would be offered as an option on passports, following other countries.
11 other nations, including India, Pakistan, Nepal, Canada, New Zealand, and Germany, have an “other” option for the third gender. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has, too, in a statement expressed praise for the step taken by the US State Department.
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 U.S. passports or Consular Reports of Birth Abroad.
The civil rights organization Lambda Legal said its client Dana Zzyym was the recipient of the passport.
Dana Alix Zzyym is an intersex activist and former sailor who was the first military veteran in the United States to seek a non-binary gender U.S. passport, in the lawsuit Zzyym v. Pompeo.
Zzyym who at birth was identified as a man and their driving licence marked as female, was denied an X passport which made them go to court in 2015.
On the week of Intersex Awareness Day, which falls on 26 October, and Zzyym was finally allowed to pick up their passport with an ‘X’ on it.
Even after the court ruling in Zzyym’s favour, the case was reopened in 2017 when the US State Department was found in violation of the law.
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