The State Department has recently issued the first passport that indicates an “X” for gender designation. The “X” designation is reportedly for individuals who refuse to identify as male or female.
The “X” designation has been hailed by progressives as a major milestone in recognizing individuals who choose to not identify as either male or female. Moreover, the State Department anticipates rolling out even more passports with an “X” designation in 2022, per statements released on Wednesday.
While the State Department did not directly identify the first individual to receive an “X”-designated passport, Dana Zzyym, a self-proclaimed intersex activist from Colorado, informed the Associated Press that they received their preferred passport.
Zzyym, who demonstrates a strong preference for gender-neutral pronouns, has also battled the State Department since 2015 for a gender-neutral passport.
The activist indicated that it was highly thrilling to finally receive the revised passport of their choosing, adding that their ultimate goal is to provide assistance to the next generation of individuals who identify as intersex. Per Zzyym, these individuals should be recognized as citizens with full and complete rights.
“I’m not a problem,” Zzyym brayed, “I’m a human being. That’s the point.”
Zzyym was originally born with amorphous sexual characteristics, though they were raised as a boy. After several surgeries, Zzyym apparently did not become fully male, per various court filings.
While Zzyym served as a male in the Navy, they eventually decided to be identified as intersex after studying and working at Colorado State University. Due to the State Department’s previous unwillingness to issue passports with an “X” designation, Zzyym claimed that they were unable to attend two different meetings of Organization Intersex International.
Zzyym has also indicated a strong interest in traveling to various advocacy conferences once they resume after the pandemic, though they also noted interest in traveling to Canada and Costa Rica for various fishing opportunities.
Progressives have widely praised Zzyym’s efforts to secure a passport with an “X” designation, noting that the United States now joins the ranks of over twelve countries that permit third-gender options on official state passports. Per the views of progressives, people can now travel as their presumably authentic selves through the revised passports.
Mary Emily O’Hare, a GLAAD representative, insists that “intersex, nonbinary, and transgender people need identity documents that accurately reflect who [they] are.”
“Having mismatched documents can create problems with safety and visibility,” O’Hare declared.
Moreover, Jessica Stern, who serves as the U.S. special diplomatic envoy for LGBTQ+ rights, added that the revised government documents now align with the “lived reality” of a broad spectrum of human sexual characteristics.
Stern insists that a person can “live with greater dignity and respect” upon “[obtaining] identity documents that reflect their true identity.”
In June, the State Department began hinting that it was moving in favor of third gender markers for gender-nonconforming individuals. At the time, the department noted that it would be a lengthy process, given the various required updates to its computer networks.
Additionally, an official with the State Department also cautioned that the “X” designation needed to receive approval from the Office of Management and Budget, which is responsible for signing off each and every government form.
Now, however, individuals can self-select their gender as either female or male, and these individuals do not have to require medical certification of their gender, which was a previous requirement.
Stern also indicated that the United States’ experience with its change in attitude towards intersex individuals may influence other nations around the world to adopt more progressive passport options for people who choose to not conform to traditional gender standards.
“We see this as a way of affirming and uplifting the human rights of … gender-nonconforming and nonbinary people everywhere,” Stern gushed.