After announcing it would make changes to be inclusive of nonbinary, intersex, and gender nonconforming travelers, the U.S. State Department has issued the first official passport with the gender marker “X.”
The change comes after a lawsuit filed by Dana Zzyym, “an intersex and nonbinary Colorado resident who argued it was impossible to get a passport with their accurate gender because ‘female’ and ‘male’ were the only options,” NPR reports.
Secretary of State Anthony Blinken then announced proposed changes to their passport policy in late June. “Most immediately, we will be updating our procedures to allow applicants to self-select their gender as ‘M’ or ‘F’ and will no longer require medical certification if an applicant’s self-selected gender does not match the gender on their other citizenship or identity documents. “
He added, “We…value our continued engagement with the LGBTQI+ community, which will inform our approach and positions moving forward. With this action, I express our enduring commitment to the LGBTQI+ community today and moving forward.”
Due to technological challenges to update the State Department’s systems, it is expected the option to use ‘X’ for one’s gender will be widely available by early 2022.