US issues passport with ‘X’ gender marker

The United States issued first passport with an “X” gender marker, marking a milestone in recognising the rights of people who are not identified as male or female.

Background

This step was taken following the fight of Dana Zzyym, who is an intersex activist from Fort Collins. Zzyym has battling legally with the US State Department since 2015 to get a passport that did not require Zzyym to lie about gender by selecting either male or female.

What is the issue with Zzyym?

Zzyym was born with ambiguous physical sexual characteristics but was raised as a boy. Zzyym underwent several surgeries that failed to make Zzyym appear fully male. In the Navy, Zzyym served as a male but later came to identify as intersex while studying and working at Colorado State University. US state department denial of Zzyym’s passport, stopped Zzyym from attending two Organization Intersex International meetings.

LGBT rights in US

In the United States, ‘Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) rights’ have evolved significantly with time. All 50 states in USA had criminalized same-sex sexual activity until 1962. However, by 2003, USA had invalidated all the remaining laws against same-sex sexual activity. By 2015, they won the right to marry in all 50 states in USA. In many states and municipalities of US, LGBT are explicitly protected from discrimination in housing, employment, and access to public accommodations.

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