The US State Department has announced that it has issued a passport for the first time with the gender “X”. The move is intended to respect the right of those who want to remain gender neutral, and not to identify as a man or a woman.
The State Department noted that the possibility of identifying passports as “X” will be available to the general population in early 2022. Department spokesman Ned Price said: “I would like to emphasize, on the occasion of the issuance of this passport, that the State Department is committed to “K”.
Secretary of State Anthony Blinken promised to address the issue of passports in June, noting that there are technical obstacles that need to be overcome. In the Blinken tenure, the department allows U.S. passport holders to choose for themselves the gender that will appear on their passports. Previously, Americans were required to present a medical certificate if they wanted to register in a passport with a gender other than the gender listed on the birth certificate and other identification documents.
The State Department did not say who first received a passport with the gender “X”. A source in the department declined to comment on the report that it was Dana Zim, an intersex from Colorado. A legal battle has been going on between Zim and the State Department since 2015. The department did not issue Zim a passport, as the application form did not specify whether it was male or female.
Jessica Stern, the U.S. Special Envoy on issues affecting the LGBT community, said it was a historic step. “When people hold identifying documents that reflect their true identity they live with greater respect,” Stern said of issuing the first passport with the “X” gender.
At least 11 other countries around the world already allow their citizens to register in the gender section of passports as “X” or “other”. Countries include Canada, Germany, Argentina, India, Nepal and Pakistan.