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US Issues First Gender Neutral Passport

US Issues First Gender Neutral Passport

You can now identify with an X gender marking.

The United States has taken a huge step forward for inclusivity and equality by issuing its first gender-neutral passport.

The new documentation allows people to identify with an ‘X’ marking for their gender.

The move comes as the Department of State is set to offer options for gender-nonconforming, intersex and non-binary individuals in 2022.

The US passports now allow for an X gender identity (
Unsplash)

“I want to reiterate, on the occasion of this passport issuance, the Department of State’s commitment to promoting the freedom, dignity, and equality of all people – including LGBTQI+ persons,” State Department spokesperson Ned Price said in a statement.

The individual who received the passport has not been identified.

A department spokesman refused to reveal if it was for Dana Zzyym, an intersex Colorado resident who uses they/them pronouns, explaining that the government does not discuss individual passport applications for privacy purposes.

The move will help gender non-conforming and non-binary individuals identify (
Unsplash)

The US has previously made steps to be a more inclusive country for those who are gender non-conforming, with 18 out of 50 states allowing residents to mark their gender as ‘X’ on their driving licence.

The news that America was adding a third option to its passport gender identifications was announced in June, but had said it may take longer than anticipated as it meant having to update and modify their computer system.

According to a department official, the passport application and system update with the 'X' option must still be approved by the Office of Management and Budget, which reviews all government documents before they can be issued.

America has since joined other countries including New Zealand, Australia, Canada, and Nepal that allow its citizens to select their own gender identity beyond male or female.

The UK is yet to have a self-identifying, gender neutral option (
Unsplash)

However, it seems the UK is still a long way off from introducing gender-neutral passports.

In March last year, the Home Office won the right not to issue gender-neutral passports to UK citizens, claiming issuing passports with an X mark could bring additional costs.

However, the court’s three senior judges have said that if there becomes a more widespread recognition of gender non-conforming and non-binary people, not having an X option on passports could violate human rights.

Featured Image Credit: Unsplash

Topics: News, Life