The State Department has issued its first U.S. Passport with an “X” gender designation, which marks a major milestone for the LGBTQ community since the sector announced its plans to change gender requirements to be more inclusive.

The move allows the U.S. to join countries like Canada, New Zealand, Australia, and Nepal, which allows citizens to choose a gender option other than female or male on their passports.

“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,” said Ned Price, the State Department spokesperson.

On Wednesday, the decision received praise from members and supporters of the LGBTQI+ community on Twitter. 

The milestone comes four months after Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced the department planned to immediately begin to allow applicants to choose their gender as “M” or “F.”

The decision meant applicants were no longer required to show medical proof if their gender identity doesn’t match what’s written on other citizenship or identity documents.

In June, Blinken also announced the department was creating a gender designation for people who are intersex, nonbinary, and gender-nonconforming individuals who apply for Consular Reports of Birth Abroad or a passport.

Although the State Department declined to identify who the “X” gender designated passport was issued to, Lambda Legal, a national civil rights organization, revealed the passport was issued to Dana Zzyym, who is intersex.

In 2015, Lambda Legal filed a lawsuit on behalf of Zzyym, a military veteran who resided in Colorado, after its client was denied a passport for failing to mark male or female on the application.

Zzyym’s drivers’ license identified them as female, and their original birth certificate had them listed as male.

In 2016, the court ruled in favor of Zzyym, but the law firm later requested the case be reopened after the State Department refused “to recognize a gender marker that is neither ‘M’ (male) nor ‘F’ (female).”

Following the milestone decision on Wednesday, the State Department expects the “X” gender marker to be offered more broadly to passport applicants next year once the updates to the systems and forms are completed.

passport-2642168_1280 As Pride month comes to an end, the Department of State announced plans to add X gender designation option on passports. Photo: Creative Commons