Historic move…US issues first gender-neutral passport with ‘X’

First time in history, the United States has issued its first passport with ‘X’ where it is considered a landmark step to recognize the third gender. ‘X’ stands for those who identify as non-binary. The option to choose an ‘X’ along with the category ‘M’ (male) and ‘F’ (female) in passports and birth certificates will be regularly available to Americans from early 2022. 

This is the first time a US passport has been issued acknowledging a third gender. The computers that store the data need to get extensive steps on the updates. So the officials say that the move would not be implemented so fast but slowly next year.

Earlier, members of the community had even approached courts for including an option other than male or female on passport applications. The development is thus found as a watershed moment for LGBTQ rights movements. Also, the medical certificate was compulsory to change the gender of the person in the birth certificate.  But the development aimed at the state’s commitment to promoting the freedom, dignity, and equality of all people.

One of the residents in Colorado, Dana Zzyym-intersex was denied a passport for failing to check male or female on an application in 2015, there she started battling on the issue with the state department. Dana Zzyym was identified at birth as a man and their driving license was marked as female. After finding a violation in the law by the person, the case was reopened in 2017 despite the court’s favor towards the person in 2015.

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The new announcement was made on the week of Intersex Awareness Day, on 26 October, and Zzyym was finally allowed to pick up their passport with an ‘X’ on it.

The US special diplomatic envoy for LGBTQ rights, Jessica Stern, said the decision brings the government documents in line with the “lived reality” that there is a wider spectrum of human sex characteristics than is reflected in the previous two designations.