Dana Zzyym Case Study

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This past October an intersex U.S. Navy veteran, Dana Zzyym, gained national attention after they were denied a passport. Zzyym identifies as neither male nor female, so they were denied the right to a passport after refusing to select a gender box on the application. After the denial Zzyym filed a federal discrimination lawsuit on the grounds that it is a constitutional violation to force an intersex person to select a gender box. Their argument is that gender, or lack of thereof, has nothing to do with travel, so why should it restrict or force people to declare a gender marker they do not identify as. Zzyym’s case finally brings to light how significant two little boxes can truly be, especially for those who live their lives outside…show more content…
There is an entire population in the United States that needs support, and so much of it can be solved by something as small as adding one more little box on a piece of paper. Intersex, according to the Intersex Society of North America, is a “general term used for a variety of conditions in which a person is born with a reproductive or sexual anatomy that doesn’t seem to fit the typical definitions of female or male” (par. 1). World-renowned Brown University Biology and Gender Studies professor, Dr. Anne Fausto-Sterling, further explains the biological meaning of intersex as the in-between development of male and female genital types based on the size of the phallus (Fausto-Sterling, 50). Both males and females start with the same beginning stages of the phallus, but develop into a clitoris for females or a penis for males based on their chromosomes. Society may not know or hear about the intersex people population because it also consists of people born with subtler forms of sex anatomy variations, some of which won’t show up until later in life or not at all because they are chromosomal differences, hormonal imbalances, or physically inside the body. It is not uncommon for people with an intersex condition to live without knowing they have intersex anatomy. Sometimes intersex anatomy does not appear or goes unnoticed until puberty, if adults find themselves infertile, or after being autopsied post death (Intersex Society of North America, par. 2). Not only can gender vary, but so can the intersex community itself. There are many different types of biological conditions that lead to being considered intersex. No matter what form of intersex, the Intersex Society of North America’s statistics found that noticeable atypical genitalia occur for about 1 in 1500 to 1 in 2000
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