On June 30, 2021, Antony Blinken, the Secretary of State, announced that the State of Department is committed to supporting the freedom, dignity, and equality of all people — including LGBTQI+ individuals.
According to the Department of State, they had issued the first passport in the United States with an “X” gender marking on Wednesday. They also anticipate introducing this option to all standard passport applicants in early 2022, once they complete the necessary system and form improvements. This achievement marks a milestone in acknowledging the rights of individuals who do not self-identify as male or female.
Receive Equal Treatment
The Department has taken an additional step in ensuring that the LGBTQI+ US citizens, regardless of their gender or sex, receive equal treatment by initiating the process of amending procedures for issuing US passports and Consular Reports of Birth Abroad (CRBA), according to the statement.
It was also stated that President Biden has taken various executive actions confirming the administration’s commitment to human rights and has urged federal agencies to take actual steps to advance and safeguard the human rights of LGBTQI+ people worldwide.
According to The Associated Press, the Department did not identify the passport recipient. Still, Dana Zzyym, an intersex activist from Fort Collins, Colorado, confirmed that they received it in a telephone interview. Mx. Zzyym, who prefers a gender-neutral pronoun, has been fighting the State Department in court to acquire a passport that did not compel her to choose between male and female since 2015.
The Long-Awaited “X”
According to New York Times, the parcel arrived when they were not at home on Wednesday morning. The passport has the standard information — name, birthplace, and expiration date — but also included the long-awaited “X” in the box underneath “sex.”
At least 15 countries, including Argentina, Austria, Australia, Canada, Colombia, Denmark, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, Malta, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Pakistan, India, and Nepal, have already legalized non-binary or third gender identifiers on passports, as per Newsweek.
Canada introduced gender-neutral passports with an X category two years after a handful of provinces established non-binary birth certificates and driver’s licenses in 2019.