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Passports to the Abyss

The transgender revolution is making its way onto government documents


Dana Zzyym after receiving a passport with an 'x' designation for sex Associated Press/Photo by Thomas Peipert

Passports to the Abyss
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Last month, the United States began issuing passports in line with the gender revolution. As the Associated Press reported: “The United States has issued its first passport with an “X” gender designation, marking a milestone in the recognition of the rights of people who do not identify as male or female.”

So we are now issuing passports with an X where previously we had only M or F. This recent change in passport notation came about, however, in recognition of people who suffer from an extremely rare condition called hermaphroditism, a “condition of having both male and female reproductive organs.” The current preferred term is intersex.

64-year-old Dana Zzyym, whose lawsuit forced this change, served in the U.S. Navy under the name Brian Whitney. Even today, anyone looking across a customs desk would see a man. How Zzyym understands himself and what’s going on in the privacy of his private physiology is no one’s concern at the border. But he won his case, regardless.

However, in the current mania for gender non-conformity, the “X” allows the self-understood gender-fluid individual to assert his revolutionary view of the world on his government-issued documents. This piously accepted revolt against reality is extending even to birth certificates. While we should reject the ideology being adopted by our government, we cannot be surprised. Passports and birth certificates are merely the remote implications from buying, whole cloth, the ideology of the gender and sexual revolution.

The word “gender” came into wide use as a polite substitute for the word “sex”—the designation of a person born, generated, “engendered” as male or female. But the creative writers who occupy the professoriate in university Gender Studies departments tell us that male and female denote only biological differences. Gender, they say, is entirely a social construct and thus, in free and good societies, a matter of personal choice.

With all this in view, therefore, on June 30, the State Department announced it is updating procedures for issuing passports, pending “further steps toward ensuring the fair treatment of LGBTQI+ U.S. citizens, regardless of their gender or sex.” By executive order, President Biden has instructed that people be allowed to “self-select their gender as ‘M’ or ‘F’ and will no longer require medical certification if an applicant’s self-selected gender does not match the gender on their other citizenship or identity documents,” as though a passport were an exercise in self-affirmation and not a border control tool for national security purposes.

This is only our society’s latest embrace of the ongoing drama of the sexual revolution, and it won’t be our last. Its pronouncements as to what is-and-is-not have been submissively and enthusiastically accepted as the cultural orthodoxy across corporate America, the whole of the entertainment media, and the U.S. government bureaucracy. The rainbow flag flies beneath Old Glory at American embassies during “Pride Month.” The latest fads proclaimed and explained on TikTok are applied across the military as national defense priorities. At the age of 54, a married man with children changed his name to Rachel and, after serving as the State of Pennsylvania’s Health Secretary, was promoted to Assistant Secretary of Health in the Biden administration then quickly promoted to be “the first woman” to serve as “four-star admiral” in the Public Health Service.

The sexual revolution is not just about sex and sexuality, but a rebellion against God’s created order. In the beginning, God made Adam and Eve. It is written that he made them male and female. He sent his Son, “the man Christ Jesus,” as the saving mediator between God and men (1 Timothy 2:5). These are immutable realities we are called to accept and receive, not to reject and re-engineer.

This is a hill to die on or on which to suffer any evil short of that. And the church should rally around and provide for any brother or sister who is forced into this witness. We are called to defend the Permanent Things at whatever the cost. This is only the latest and most radical denial of God’s created order. All evil and suffering in the world comes from denying God’s created order—physical, moral, and spiritual. Legitimizing and glorifying these self-affirmations harms everyone, but—as usual—most severely the young and the suffering. We will find out in due time that the fashions and fallacies we’ve indulged will come at too high a price. This will not end with a passport.


David C. Innes

David C. Innes is professor of politics in the Politics, Philosophy, and Economics Program at The King’s College in New York City. He is author of Christ and the Kingdoms of Men: Foundations of Political Life, The Christian Citizen: Faith Engaging Political Life, and Francis Bacon. He is also an ordained minister in the Orthodox Presbyterian Church.


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