At one time sex was determined by whether you stood or squatted to P, but today we have DNA and I do not beleive there is such a thing as Intersex! GLBTQ and now I, how about GLBTQ0 (zero)
Intersex person who was denied a passport over gender designation sues U.S. government
Dana Zzyym needed a U.S. passport, but the application offered only two gender choices: male or female. For Zzyym, neither was accurate.
Zzyym was born with ambiguous genitalia and identifies as intersex, neither male nor female. Zzyym — who uses the gender-neutral pronouns “they” and “them” — was denied a passport after the State Department declined to let Zzyymuse the gender marker “X.”
Zzyym, a Fort Collins, Colo., resident and Navy veteran, has sued the State Department, saying the federal government violated the Constitution’s guarantees ofdue process rights and discriminated against Zzyym based on gender. The suit names Secretary of State John F. Kerry as a defendant and alleges that in order to get a passport, Zzyym would have had to lie under penalty of perjury.
Oral arguments in the case were presented Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Denver before Judge R. Brooke Jackson. A decision is forthcoming.
“Dana, a U.S. veteran and American citizen, refused to lie and subject themself to a criminal penalty in order to complete a government form,” said Paul Castillo of Lambda Legal, one of Zzyym’s attorneys. “The passport was denied not based on misrepresentation on the form or misconduct or fraud but because of who Dana is.”
Zzyym tried to apply for a passport in 2014 to attend the International Intersex Forum in Mexico City. In an application packet, Zzyym presented a birth certificate, which lists gender as “unknown,” and statements from multiple Department of Veterans Affairs doctors confirming that Zzyym is intersex, Castillo said.
In an interview, Zzyym said Zzyym presented a VA identification card, which does not list a gender, as well as a personal letter stating their gender identity, but still was denied.
“This is who I am,” Zzyym said. “This is how I was born. Many people are able to get their passports with their biological sex, and I should be allowed to do the same thing.”
The State Department declined to comment on pending litigation.
When Zzyym, 58, was born in Michigan with ambiguous genitalia, doctors initially left the sex designation on the birth certificate blank, according to the lawsuit. Shortly after birth, Zzyym’s parents decide to raise their child as a boy named Brian Orin Whitney. The birth certificate was filled in as “male.”
As a young child, Zzyym underwent numerous gender-assignment surgeries, which, Zzyym said, left severe scarring and still cause physical pain. Zzyym’s family never explained the surgeries or that Zzyym was born intersex, Zzyym said.
While identifying as a male, Zzyym enlisted in the Navy, completing three tours of duty in Lebanon and one tour through the Persian Gulf, according to the lawsuit.
After leaving the military, Zzyym researched thescars and started to ponder questions of identity. A Veterans Affairs urologist confirmed Zzyym’s intersex identity in 2009. Whitney’s name was legally changed to Dana Alix Zzyym in 1995.