Dana Zzyym was born with ambiguous genitalia and, thus, identifies as intersex. But the notion of a gender identity off the gender binary is so foreign to the U.S. State Department that Zzyym is being denied a U.S. passport, solely for being intersex. So, Zzyym is suing the State Department for discrimination on the basis of gender.
“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,” says Paul Castillo of Lambda Legal, an attorney of Zzyym’s. “The passport was denied not based on misrepresentation on the form or misconduct or fraud, but because of who Dana is.”
On Wednesday, the day of their federal court hearing, Zzyym told the LA Times, “I have to assert what is right for me.”
“I wrote ‘I’ on the form instead of male or female because that bottom line says under penalty of perjury you have to be honest,” Zzyym said.
Luckily, Zzyym’s legal team seems to have swayed presiding Judge Brook Jackson, who told the Times that if the court rules to allow Zzyym to receive a passport without designing their gender, “The sun will still come up tomorrow.”
Whether Zzyym settles out of court, or a ruling comes out of judge Jackson, the odds look in favor non-discrimination.