The Netherlands has made history issuing its first gender-neutral passport.
Leonne Zeegers, a 57-year-old from Breda, became the first person in the country to be receive a passport with an X as their gender specification, instead of M for ‘mannetje’ (man) or V for ‘vrouw’ (woman).
Leonne was born intersex in 1961, but was classified as male on their birth certificate and raised as a boy. They had gender confirmation surgery in 2001 to match their identity as female, but now they identify as gender-fluid.
The move comes after Leonne won a lawsuit in which judges ruled that preventing their registration as gender neutral was a “violation of private life, self-determination and personal autonomy”.
Speaking to The Guardian, Leonne said: “My breasts are real, my skin is smooth, I don’t have a beard or take hormones but now I am 57. I have lived life on both sides; sometimes I feel as a man, sometimes I feel as a woman, sometimes I don’t feel anything.
“Gender is everything between the spectrum of male and female and if you want to be a masculine woman, that’s OK. If you’re a man wanting to wear skirts and makeup, that is OK. That’s my opinion and I realise not everyone is ready for it.”
According to the BBC, 4% of people in the Netherlands identify as neither male nor female.
Argentina, Australia, Canada, Denmark, India, Malta, Nepal, New Zealand and Pakistan all offer gender-neutral options in their passport applications.
In the UK, passport holders must choose either male or female.
Earlier this year, the High Court dismissed an appeal for a judicial review into the UK Government’s policy on gender-neutral passports, and ruled that the UK’s refusal to grant gender-neutral passports was not unlawful.