The United States has made significant strides when it comes to recognizing individuals’ genders. They have implemented the “bathroom bill,” which granted access to sex-segregated public facilities for an individual based on a determination of their sex as defined. There are laws put into effect that protect gender identities, and now the Biden Administration has created another way for people to embrace their gender identity while traveling.
The U.S. has issued its first passport with an “X” gender designation. This milestone marks the recognition of the rights of people who do not identify as male or female, said the State Department, according to NPR. President Joe Biden’s administration kept good on their word after promising this move earlier this year to make documents more inclusive for people who identify as nonbinary, intersex, and gender non-conforming.
Pressure to make this change came after a lawsuit filed earlier this year by Dana Zzyym, an intersex and nonbinary Colorado resident. Dana argued it was impossible to get a passport with their accurate gender because “female” and “male” were the only options available. Lambda Legal represented Dana in the lawsuit and confirmed Dana was the first passport with a gender “X” marker.
Dana also made a statement about the news stating it was thrilling to get the passport finally. She continued explaining the goal was to help the next generation of intersex people win recognition as full citizens with rights rather than travel the globe.
State Department Spokesperson Ned Price released a statement about the change, saying, “I want to reiterate, on the occasion of this passport issuance, the Department of State’s commitment to promoting the freedom, dignity, and equality of all people – including LGBTQI+ persons.”
The department plans to offer the option to all passport applicants once their system finishes updating along with its forms by early 2022, according to Ned Price.
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