Speed Reads

'long time coming'

State Department issues the 1st U.S. passport with an X gender marker

The first U.S. passport with an X gender marker has officially been issued, the State Department has announced. 

The department said Wednesday it's continuing to move toward adding an X gender marker option on passports "for non-binary, intersex, and gender non-conforming persons," and the first passport with such a marker has now been issued. A State Department spokesperson said the X gender marker option would be offered "to all routine passport applicants once we complete the required system and form updates in early 2022." 

Secretary of State Antony Blinken previously announced in June the State Department would be taking this step in order to ensure "the fair treatment of LGBTQI+ U.S. citizens, regardless of their gender or sex," though he said at the time the process for adding this marker is "technologically complex and will take time for extensive systems updates." Blinken also said the State Department would no longer require "medical certification if an applicant's self-selected gender does not match the gender on their other citizenship or identity documents." 

Details about the recipient of this first passport with the X gender marker weren't revealed, though The Associated Press noted Colorado resident Dana Zzyym had been in a legal battle with the State Department while seeking to use an X gender marker on their passport. When the State Department announced it would add this option on passports earlier this year, Zzyym told NPR, "It's great news for all intersex and nonbinary people, because it basically says that we can get our passports. We don't have to lie to get our passports. We can just be ourselves." Zzyym added, "It's been a long time coming."