Dana Zzyym

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Dana Zzyym
Dana Zzyym - Columbia Law School panel.png
Zzyym in 2016
Born1958 (age 64–65)
OrganizationIntersex Campaign for Equality

Dana Alix Zzyym[1] (born 1958) is an intersex activist and veteran of the U.S. Navy.[2] After the culmination of a six-year legal battle, they became the first U.S. citizen to receive an official U.S. passport with an "X" sex/gender marker.[3]

Early life[edit]

Zzyym was born in 1958. Zzyym has expressed that their childhood as a military brat made it out of the question for them to be associated with the queer community as a youth due to the prevalence of homophobia in the armed forces. Their parents hid Zzyym's status as intersex from them and Zzyym discovered their identity and the surgeries their parents had approved for them by themselves after their Navy service.[4] In 1978, Zzyym joined the Navy as a machinist's mate.


Zzyym is the associate director of the Intersex Campaign for Equality.[5][6][7] They are nonbinary and intersex.[3]

Legal case[edit]

Zzyym is the first veteran to seek a non-binary gender U.S. passport, in the lawsuit Zzyym v. Blinken (formerly Zzyym v. Pompeo, Zzyym v. Tillerson, and Zzyym v. Kerry).[8] In light of the State Department's continuing refusal to recognize an appropriate gender marker, on June 27, 2017, a federal court granted Lambda Legal's motion to reopen the case.[9][10] On September 19, 2018, the United States District Court for the District of Colorado enjoined the U.S. Department of State from relying upon its binary-only gender marker policy to withhold the requested passport.[11] In February 2021, the state department stated "To fully integrate the change into its software systems would take approximately 24 months and cost $11 million".[12]

In October 2021, they became the first U.S. citizen to receive an official U.S. passport with an "X" sex/gender marker.[2]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "A U.S. Federal court just told the State Department to issue its first-ever gender neutral passport". March 2, 2019.
  2. ^ a b "U.S. Issues First Passport With Third Gender Option". www.advocate.com. October 27, 2021. Retrieved December 7, 2021.
  3. ^ Intersex - My Body, My Rights! (Video). YouTube. August 31, 2014.
  4. ^ Lambda Legal (October 26, 2015). "Lambda Legal Sues U.S. State Department on Behalf of Intersex Citizen Denied Passport". Archived from the original on February 21, 2017.
  5. ^ Rein, Lisa (October 27, 2015). "Intersex applicants face passport discrimination, says lawsuit seeking option other than 'M' or 'F'". The Washington Post. Archived from the original on December 9, 2015.
  6. ^ "Dana Zzyym receives first U.S. passport with 'X' gender marker". NPR.org. Retrieved December 7, 2021.
  7. ^ Goldberg, Barbara (September 20, 2018). "U.S. Court rules for Colorado 'intersex' veteran denied passport". Reuters.
  8. ^ "Zzyym v. Pompeo (formerly Zzyym v. Tillerson & Zzyym v. Kerry)". Lambda Legal. Retrieved November 29, 2018.
  9. ^ "Victory! State Department Cannot Rely on its Binary-Only Gender Policy to Deny Passport to Nonbinary Intersex Citizen". Lambda Legal. September 19, 2018.
  10. ^ "Zzyym v. Pompeo". Leagle.com. September 19, 2018.
  11. ^ "Federal court orders State Department to issue the country's first nonbinary passport". Retrieved April 27, 2022.

Further reading[edit]