By James Murphy
The United States has officially issued its first “gender neutral” passport. The State Department announced the milestone on Wednesday. Citizens can now choose an “X” on their passport application to show that they don’t “identify” as the customary “F” for female or “M” for male.
Secretary of State Anthony Blinken first announced the changes to the passport application back in June, but today marks the first time a person has received a passport with the “X” designation.
According to Jessica Stern, the State Department’s special diplomatic envoy for LGBTQ rights — a position left vacant during the Trump administration — the new passport option is more in line with the “lived reality” that certain people believe they are neither male or female.
“When a person obtains identity documents that reflect their true identity, they live with greater dignity and respect,” Stern said.
According to Blinken, the new option will mean that Americans who consider themselves transgender will no longer require a medical certificate to opt-out of choosing a specific gender.
State Department Spokesman Ned Price said, “The Department of State continues the process of updating its policies regarding gender markers on U.S. passports and Consular Reports of Birth Abroad (CRBAs) to better serve all U.S. citizens, regardless of their gender identity.”
“I want to reiterate, on the occasion of this passport issuance, the Department of State’s commitment to promoting the freedom, dignity, and equality of all people — including LGBTQI+ persons,” Price added.
The State Department has not released the identity of the “X” passport recipient, but the AP speculates that it may been Dana Zzyym (formerly known as Brian Orin Whitney), a Navy veteran and trans-activist who sued then-Secretary of State John Kerry in 2016 for refusing to give “them” a passport because “they” (Zzyym’s preferred pronouns are they, their, and them) refused to be classified as either male or female.
According to Zzym, he was fighting for the new passport to assure that transgender individuals could earn recognition as citizens with full rights — something “they” already had no matter how “they” decided to dress or identify “themselves.”
“I’m not a problem. I’m a human being. That’s the point,” Zzyym said.
The new passport option is in line with the Biden administration’s recently released National Strategy on Gender Equity and Equality — a document that reads more like an LGBTQ wish list than a government directive.
The document states: “This moment demands that we build back better. It requires that we acknowledge and address longstanding gender discrimination and the systemic barriers to full participation that have held back women and girls. And it requires that we bring the talent and potential of all people to bear to face the challenges of our time.”
The new White House strategy acknowledges that it is adopting an “intersectional approach” to combat what it calls “discrimination and bias related to gender, race, and other factors, including sexual orientation, ethnicity, religion, disability, age, and socioeconomic status.”
Since intersectionality basically amounts to dividing people into various identity groups and creating ladders of “oppression,” the new White House strategy would seem to be an attempt to further divide an already-divided United States.
With the new passport option, the United States joins a growing list of countries that deny biology and allow men or women to choose “neither” when filling out their travel documents. Among other countries who deny basic biology are Australia, Canada, Germany, India, Nepal, and New Zealand.
Until 2012, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders listed “gender identity disorder” as a diagnosis of mental illness. Even the World Health Organization continued to list the condition as a mental illness until 2019. Nothing had changed with the disorder except outside political and cultural pressure brought to bear to redefine it not as a mental illness, but as a sexual issue akin to impotence or birth control.
You can’t cure an illness — mental or otherwise — by ignoring it. And you certainly can’t cure it by giving government sanction to it as the Biden administration continues to do.