The U.S. Issues First Passport With X Gender Marker

Sophia Cacoilo, Reporter

On October 27, 2021 the U.S. State Department announced it had issued the first American passport with an “x” gender marker, which has become a significant step for Americans who are neither male or female.

This new gender marker will be able to include people under the nonbinary, intersex, and gender nonconforming umbrella, encouraging the LGBTQ+ movement further in to the lime light. Many may be angered by this development, but the addition of the new marker allows trans youth in and out of the country to have their identity finally affirmed by the government.

Dana Zzyym, an intersex and nonbinary Navy veteran, was the first person to receive this passport after suing the U.S government in 2015 over the issue. After receiving the passport, Zzyym stated “I almost burst into tears when I opened the envelope, pulled out my new passport, and saw the “X” stamped under the ‘sex.”

When it came to changing a gender marker on a passport, the previous policy required medical confirmation to be included in the application which was only gained through transitioning to male or female. These requirements are no longer needed after the recent change.

Many countries have offered the third gender option marker such as Canada, Germany, Australia, and India. In all, only 16 out of 195 countries offer the third gender marker on passports, meaning the fight is not yet won across the world.

In a press statement, Ned Price, the departments spokesperson, stated “The Department also continues to work closely with other US government agencies to ensure as smooth travel experience possible for all passport holders, regardless if their gender identity.”

With government involvement, trans, intersex, and gender nonconforming individuals will finally have a chance at being recognized and protected.