Legal action could force the US to recognise people who aren’t male or female

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A lawsuit brought in the US state of Colorado could force the country to recognise people who don’t identify as male or female on passports.

The lawsuit was brought by Dana Zzyym, on behalf of Lambda Legal.

The plaintiff identifies as intersex, and names Secretary of State John Kerry as the defendant in the case.

According to the lawsuit, requiring people to tick a box for either ‘m’ for male or ‘f’ for female, asks the plaintiff to lie.

If the legal action was successful, the US would join a handful of countries which currently allow a gender ‘x’ passport.

Australia, New Zealand and Nepal all currently allow gender x passports, and there is a campaign for the UK to follow suit.

A lawyer for Zzyym, Paul Castillo, said people with foreign travel documents are allowed into the US, and that America could allow an ‘x’ in place of ‘m’ or ‘f’.

Castillo said an estimated 1.7% of the US population is intersex, but that some of those people identify as male or female.

Zzyym’s parents raised them as male, but their birth certificate includes no gender.

They later served in the US Navy as male, but began to identify as intersex whilst working and studying at Colorado State University.