The US State Department announced today that X Marker Passports will be available to all US citizens starting on April 11th–a historic development made possible by our Associage Director Dana Zzyym’s lawsuit against them for such a passport! As stated in their press release, “The Department is setting a precedent as the first federal government agency to offer the X gender marker on an identity document.” The State Department noted that “we announced in June that we had begun this work,” but these policy changes could not be implemented until/unless Zzyym’s lawsuit for an X Passport was succesfully resolved.
Starting in 2014, IC4E embarked on the effort to obtain federal third sex/gender recognition on passports because we have always felt that intersex people deserve to be acknowledged, equally, as neither male nor female in order to facillitate an end to the harmful, discriminatory, anti-intersex medical efforts to surgicaly and/or hormonally “fix us” into bodies that align with male or female infant sex assignments. We note that we use “sex/gender” to refer to these markers as they have always represented both sex and gender under the law, due to the case of intersex individuals whose visual appearance of “gender” as boys/men or girls/women, rather than their actual biological “sex,” is used to assign their sex on birth certificates. Such. cases incliude individuals whom appear in all visual senses to be female, but have male reproductive organs, and vice-versa.
As a Navy Veteran with extensive medical records from the US Veteran’s Administration (VA) stating that they are neither male nor female ut intersex, our Associate Director, Dana Zzyym, had the required documentation to legally pursue a lawsuit for third sex/gender recognition. Thus, on Intersex Awareness Day (October 26) 2015, after having consulted extensively with, and aquired the counsel of he US’s oldest LGBT+ legal organization, Lambda Legal, Zzyym filed a groundbreaking lawsuit against the US State Department for a passport that acknowledges them as neither male nor female but intersex. See our post, “The History of the X Passport Marker,” to learn why we chose an “X” marker instead of, for example, an “I.”
Zzyym’s long legal battle came to fruition six years later (almost to the day), when they were issued the first US passport with an X sex/gender marker on October 27, 2021. As noted in Lambda Legal’s press release about the first US X Passport:
“The Intersex Campaign for Equality and its Founding Director, Hida Viloria, played a critical role in bringing Dana’s case forward.”
The successful resolution of Zzyym’s lawsuit in turn enabled the Biden Administration to amend US passport policy this year to provide the X Marker option to all American citizens.
The X sex/gender marker is optional, one of three sex/gender options now available on US passports. We note that some intersex people look male or female, and/or identify as such, and will choose to use M or F markers. Additionally, some intersex people as well as non-intersex people whom are non-binary (meaning their gender identity is not man or woman) may also wish to use binary markers for various reasons, including safefty concerns.
We thank Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken for finally issuing Zzyym’s X passport, and the Biden administration for consequentially amending US passport policy to include all citizens whose sex and/or gender is not male or female!