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New gender option appears on U.S. passports

Randy Mancini 172 October 28, 2021
MIAMI - JUNE 22: A Passport Processing employee uses a stack of blank passports to print a new one at the Miami Passport Agency June 22, 2007 in Miami, Florida. The Bush administration postponed for at least six months a requirement that Americans who return to the United States by land or sea from Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean must carry passports. The rule, due to go into effect in January 2008, will be delayed until the summer of that year. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

MIAMI – JUNE 22: A Passport Processing employee uses a stack of blank passports to print a new one. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

U.S. passports now have a new feature. The State Department has made it an option for new passports to include a “Gender X” marker, allowing Americans to opt-out of the “Male” or “Female” option.

Department Spokesman Ned Price said this is a way to “better serve all U.S. citizens regardless of their gender identity.”

Price’s department has a record of serving Americans in places such as Afghanistan. Intersex activist Dana Zzyym had the honor of being the first American to receive the special gender designation.

“It’s kind of unbelievable that I got the first one,” Zzyym said. “I’ve worked a long time to get this one. Six years and a day through the federal court system.”

However, Zzyym asserted this isn’t just a victory for intersex persons, but also a triumph for the entire intersectional community.

“Whether it’s the Black community, or the Latino community, or the trans community. We exist,” said Zzyym. “We all should be allies together in the fight for rights. Well, that is what it means to me and this is what this represents to me.”

The US @StateDept issued a US Passport with an X gender marker today, marking the first time a gender-neutral passport is issued in the country and sending a strong message in support of the rights of trans, intersex, and nonbinary persons. https://t.co/HxNcmtwqgX

— OutRight (@OutRightIntl) October 27, 2021

Members of the political left have often unfavorably compared the U.S. to more progressive countries, such as Sweden. Although, Outright Action International Executive Director Maria Sjodin said the U.S. is a trailblazer on this front.

“Many of the European countries that have seen themselves as leaders on LGBTIQ issues really have been leaders when it comes to maybe same-sex marriage and protection against discrimination based on sexual orientation, but they really haven’t been leaders on trans issues,” Sjodin said.

According to Sjodin, America is an example for Europe to follow. The new passports are an example of the Biden administration’s commitment to the trans community, marking yet another accomplishment for the White House.

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