If you and your lady or man were wanting to travel internationally in the near future, you should be aware there are other options.
Compliments of the Biden administration, sans salute to sex, you and your nonbinary individual can soon paint the globe.
Starting April 11th, Americans may list “X” as the gender on their passports.
The big announcement was made by the State Department Wednesday night — on the verge of March 31st, the Transgender Day of Visibility.
In the past, being “seen” wasn’t a cultural concept. But these days, we appear to be told that anyone who isn’t pointed out doesn’t exist.
America’s new passports will act as permanent ink — there’s no erasure.
“The addition of a third gender marker propels the U.S. forward toward ensuring that our administrative systems account for the diversity of gender identity, gender expression and sex characteristics among U.S. citizens.”
At the same time, it’s nothing new:
“The issuance of X gender markers on U.S. passports does not create new definitions nor rights. This policy change recognizes the true identity of the passport holder.”
As noted by NBC News, the State Department had indicated last June it was planning a third gender option.
In October, it issued the very first “X” passport — an X-port, if you will.
From NBC at the time:
It marks a milestone for nonbinary and intersex Americans, who are estimated to make up 1.2 million and 4 million people, respectively, according to the Williams Institute at the UCLA School of Law and interACT, an intersex advocacy group. An increasing number of intersex, nonbinary and gender-nonconforming people have come out in recent years, but most of them have been unable to obtain IDs that accurately reflect who they are because of a patchwork of state laws.
On Wednesday, Jessica praised the improved accuracy:
“[People] do not always fit within a male or female category around the world. The lived realities of transgender, intersex, nonbinary and gender-nonconforming persons reflect that there is a wider spectrum of humanity than is represented by a binary sex designation on passports.”
We’re living in a wetter world — previously, individuals were dryly ID’d. Rather than any notion of presentation or self-perception, human beings were simply scientifically sorted. You were chromosomally categorized, and beyond that, nobody cared.
Presently, we’re getting to show our sparkle. In a world of online avatars, your passport — like your pronouns — is falling into line.
And it’s been a long time coming:
The availability of a gender-neutral option on U.S. passports was preceded by a lengthy legal battle. Dana Zzyym, an intersex Colorado resident who uses gender-neutral pronouns, sued the State Department in 2015 after they were denied a passport for having failed to check male or female on an application. According to court documents, Zzyym (pronounced Zimm) wrote “intersex” above the boxes marked “M” and “F” and requested an “X” gender marker, instead, in a separate letter. The State Department’s denial of Zzyym’s passport prevented them from being able to travel to a meeting of Organization Intersex International in Mexico.
Like wayfarers crossing borders, we’re taking a trip from the restrictive ways of old. Ladies and gentlemen and X’s, enjoy your vacation. Make it an especially adult endeavor — your travels are now Rated X.
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Author: Alex Parker