A great step toward the recognition of the rights of people who do not identify as male or female has been materialized with the first United States passport with an “X” gender designation. The State Department said Wednesday that expects to offer the option more broadly next year.
Jessica Stern United States′ special diplomatic envoy for LGBTQ rights labeled the moves as historic and celebratory. She stated that they go in harmony with the “lived reality” that there is a wider spectrum of human sex characteristics than is reflected in the previous two designations.
Stern highlighted the relevance of identity documents to enhance people´s dignity. “When a person obtains identity documents that reflect their true identity, they live with greater dignity and respect.”
The @StateDept is issuing the first U.S. passport with an ‘X’ gender designation. The department intends for this to be available on routine passport applications beginning next year! https://t.co/oMBqQPuUFL
— Human Rights Campaign (@HRC) October 27, 2021
The United States has joined countries such as Australia, New Zealand, Nepal, and Canada, in allowing its citizens to designate a gender other than male or female on their passports.
A department official declined to say whether it was for Dana Zzyym, an intersex Colorado resident who has been in a legal battle with the department since 2015, saying the department does not usually discuss individual passport applications because of privacy concerns.
Human rights uplifted
Zzyym was denied a passport for failing to check male or female on an application. According to court documents, Zzyym wrote intersex above the boxes marked M and F and requested an X gender marker instead in a separate letter.
“We see this as a way of affirming and uplifting the human rights of trans and intersex and gender-nonconforming and nonbinary people everywhere,” said Jessica Stern.
The State Department have said earlier that it was moving toward adding a third gender marker for nonbinary, intersex, and gender-nonconforming people, however, it would take time because it required extensive updates to its computer systems.