They had filed a federal discrimination lawsuit against the US state department in 2015
Opening the envelope that contained America’s first “X” gender passport was an “awesome moment”, recipient Dana Zzyym has said.
The US state department on Wednesday announced that the government would be issuing new passports with an “X” gender designation for those who identify as non-binary, intersex and gender nonconforming.
Mx Zzyym, a 63-year-old, disabled Navy veteran and intersex activist from Fort Collins, Colorado, said it was thrilling to finally get the passport.
They said their goal was to help the next generation of intersex people win recognition as full citizens with rights.
“It was a great moment, a wonderful moment, I gasped when I first opened it… it was an awesome moment,” Mx Zzyym, also an associate director for the Intersex Campaign for Equality, told ABC News.
The activist pointed out that they had been fighting a legal battle with the US state department for a passport that did not require them to lie about gender.
“I’m not a problem. I’m a human being. That’s the point,” Mx Zzyym told the Associated Press.
They had filed a federal discrimination lawsuit against the state department in 2015 for denying them a passport on the grounds of an unclear gender-marker designation.
“It’s just been a long journey. And the accumulation of that fight was in my hands and it represented a lot of things to me,” they told ABC News.
Mx Zzyym was born with ambiguous physical sexual characteristics and was made to undergo several surgeries that failed to make them appear fully male, according to court documents. They later came to identify as intersex while working and studying at the Colorado State University.
Mx Zzyym said they would now like a chance to travel to another advocacy conference once they resume after the pandemic or perhaps go sea fishing in Costa Rica.
Ned Price, spokesperson for the state department, said in a statement on Wednesday that the government was looking forward to “offering this option to all routine passport applicants once we complete the required system and form updates in early 2022.”
Secretary of state Antony Blinken had announced in June that individuals could choose the gender displayed on their passport.
He added that medical certification will no longer be required if an applicant’s self-selected gender does not match the gender on their other citizenship or identity documents.