The US issued its first passport with an ‘X’ gender designation in a massive milestone for people who don’t identify as male or female.
In the announcement, the State Department said the classification is expected to be offered more broadly next year.
Jessica Stern, the US special diplomatic envoy for LGBTQ rights, called the move historic, saying it will allow government documents to be more in line with the ‘lived reality’ of so many Americans.
‘When a person obtains identity documents that reflect their true identity, they live with greater dignity and respect,’ Stern said.
Officials did not announce who the passport was issued to, and declined to say whether it was for Dana Zzyym, an intersex Colorado resident.
They have been locked in a legal battle with the state department since 2015, when they were denied a passport for failing to check male or female on an application.
Zzyym requested an ‘X’ gender marker instead and wrote ‘intersex’ above the boxes marked ‘M’ and ‘F’.
The decision to add a third gender for nonbinary, intersex and gender-noncomforming people took longer than expected because the state department had to update its computer systems.
Passport applicants will also now be allowed to self-select their gender without providing medical certification if their gender does not match what’s listed on their other identification documents.
The US joins a handful of countries, including Australia, New Zealand, Nepal and Canada, in allowing its citizens to designate a gender other than male or female on their passports.
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