WASHINGTON, D.C. – The United States has issued its first-ever passport with an “X” gender designation, taking into account individuals who do not identify as either male or female.
The first passport with this non-binary gender marker, according to the Associated Press, is Dana Alix Zzyym, 63, an “intersex activist” from Fort Collins, Colorado. Zzyym – who uses gender-neutral pronouns – has been in a legal fight with the State Department since 2015 over the previous requirement of only being able to choose “male” or “female” options for passports.
The State Department said on Wednesday that they expect to offer the “X” gender option on all passport applications in 2022.
In June, the State Department has announced that they had plans for adding a third option on passports to represent “nonbinary, intersex and gender-nonconforming people,” but that time was needed to properly update their computer systems to reflect the change; in addition, approval was required from the Office of Management and Budget.
Another new change to the passport application process is that individuals no longer need to bring supporting medical documentation as proof if their preferred gender does not match the gender that is on their other citizenship and identity documents.
These changes to the passport process, the Department of State announced in June via a statement, represented “steps toward ensuring the fair treatment of U.S. citizens, regardless of their gender or sex.”
“The Department of State is committed to promoting the freedom, dignity, and equality of all people – including LGBTQI+ persons,” the statement read. “Since assuming office, President Biden has taken several executive actions demonstrating this administration’s commitment to human rights and has directed agencies across the U.S. government to take concrete actions to promote and protect the human rights of LGBTQI+ persons around the world.”