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United States has issued its 1st passport with ‘X’ gender marker. What does it mean?

The “X” is a big move for the rights of people who don’t identify as male or female

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A U.S. Passport cover in Washington.

The United States has issued its first passport with an “X” gender designation, a milestone in the recognition of the rights of people who don’t identify as male or female

Eileen Putman, Associated Press

The United States issued its first passport with the “X” gender designation Wednesday, The Associated Press reports.

  • The option may be made available to everyone in 2022.
  • Per CNET, the department said the move is a “commitment to promoting the freedom, dignity, and equality of all people — including LGBTQI+ persons.”
  • Officials did not say who received the passport with the “X” gender description.

It’s unclear if it went to Dana Zzyym, an intersex Colorado resident who did not check male or female on a passport application.

  • Zzyym “was born with ambiguous physical sexual characteristics but was raised as a boy and underwent several surgeries that failed to make Zzyym appear fully male,” per The Associated Press.

The State of Department said in June that it would likely add a third gender marker for nonbinary, intersex and gender-nonconforming people, per the Chicago Tribune. But it would take time to make the necessary changes.

  • The department allows people to select their gender as male or female.
  • People no longer need to require documentation if their gender does not match the one listed on their passport.