• leon

Dana Zzyym Becomes the First U.S. Citizen to Receive a Non-Binary, Gender "X" Passport

Updated: Oct 30


Getty Images

Dana Zzyym, a 63-year-old Fort Collins, Colorado resident, just became the first US citizen to receive a passport with the gender section labeled “X”. LGBTQ advocates have long pushed for government to provide gender marker options that affirm trans, non-binary and intersex persons.


“I almost burst into tears when I opened the envelope, pulled out my new passport, and saw the 'X' stamped boldly under 'sex”, said Dana in a statement.

Dana Zzyym (pronounced Zimm) is an intersex and non-binary activist and had been involved in a five year court battle after suing the State Department for a gender-neutral marker for their passport. Several rights and protections for LGBTQ persons were rolled back under the Trump administration, making it harder for Dana to obtain proper documentation.


Dana was born with ambiguous genitalia and raised as male, but official documents listed their gender as unknown. Although Dana has been fighting for the appropriate passport for years, it was an executive order from the Biden Administration that helped to make it reality.


AP

On June 30, 2021 the Biden Administration took an executive action and introduced a new U.S. Passport gender marker policy for gender non-conforming, non-binary and intersex citizens.


In addition to the new X marker option, the administration also announced the passport office would no longer require applicants to provide medical certification in order to change the gender marker on their passports.

AP Photo/Thomas Peipert)

Dana's passport is the first of many to come, as several state departments aim to offer the new gender marker option for passports and other official documents as early as next year. (The option is currently only available in 19 states).


The third gender identification option is one of many promises made to the LGBTQ+ community during President Joe Biden's presidential campaign.


Although Dana has been fighting for the appropriate passport for years, it was an executive order from the Biden Administration that helped to make it reality. On June 30, 2021 the Biden Administration took an executive action and introduced a new U.S. Passport gender marker policy for gender non-conforming, non-binary and intersex citizens.


In addition to the new X marker option, the administration also announced the passport office would no longer require applicants to provide medical certification in order to change the gender marker on their passports.


Several rights and protections for LGBTQ persons were rolled back under the Trump administration, making it harder for Dana to obtain proper documentation.


AP Photo/Thomas Peipert)

Secretary of State Anthony Blinken did advise that adding the third gender option would be "technologically complex [and] take time for extensive systems updates".


Much like many trans persons, inter-sex and non-binary individuals have struggled with obtaining official government documents that accurately reflect their gender and identity. This news and court decision provides hope for the non-binary, gender non-conforming and intersex community, and the LGBTQ+ community at-large.