The ministry did not announce to whom the passport was issued. A department official declined to say if it was for Dana Zzyym, an intersex Colorado resident who has been in a legal battle with the department since 2015, saying the department does not generally discuss individual passport applications due to issues. confidentiality.
Zzyym (pronounced Zimm) was denied a passport for failing to verify a man or woman on an application. According to court documents, Zzyym wrote “intersex” above the boxes marked “M” and “F” and requested an “X” gender marker instead in a separate letter.
Zzyym was born with ambiguous physical sex characteristics, but was raised as a boy and underwent several surgeries that failed to make Zzyym appear fully masculine, according to court documents. Zzyym served in the Navy as a male, but later identified as intersex while working and studying at Colorado State University. Zzyym’s passport ministry refusal prevented Zzyym from attending an Intersex International Organization meeting in Mexico.
The State Department announced in June that it was preparing to add a third gender marker for non-binary, intersex, and gender non-conforming people, but said it would take time because it required updates. in-depth knowledge of its computer systems. A ministry official said the passport application and updating the system with the option to designate “X” still needs to be approved by the Office of Management and Budget, which approves all government forms, before being approved. be able to be issued.
The department now allows applicants to choose their gender as male or female themselves, no longer requiring them to provide medical certification if their gender does not match that stated on their other identification documents.
The United States is joining a handful of countries, including Australia, New Zealand, Nepal and Canada, in allowing their citizens to designate a gender other than male or female on their passports.
Stern said her office plans to talk about the United States’ experience with changing its interactions in the world and she hopes that might help inspire other governments to offer the option.
“We see this as a way to assert and uplift the human rights of trans and intersex and gender nonconforming and nonbinary people everywhere,” she said.