Gender Recognition

It has been possible since the 1970s to change your gender in the Czech Republic, by applying to the local registry office. As in most places, you need to have gender reassignment surgery, which must be approved by a medical advisory board including a lawyer, two medical specialists and two physicians not participating in the surgery. This makes the British requirement of two psychiatric reports in support seem simple. In Italy, female to male reassignment requires mastectomy and hysterectomy, though some might not want all that surgery, otherwise.

Estonia requires a test to certify that gonadal and chromosomal gender match: if they do not, there are alternative procedures. Finland requires that you have been sterilised or are otherwise incapable of having children. In France, genital surgery is not required, but there must be an irreversible physiological transformation leading to an irreversible change of sex. It depends, perhaps, how you define “sex”.

In 2011, the Constitutional Court in Germany ruled that the requirement to be sterile and have undergone surgery were inapplicable. A marriage contracted before reassignment will remain valid.

Mexico has the most liberal law: you only need to have been receiving treatment, such as hormone treatment, for five months. Moldova may have the most restrictive: four people have successfully changed gender there since the breakup of the USSR, as opposed to 4000 in the UK. Had the same proportion changed sex, there would have been more than 200.

In Malta, the civil court decided that the purpose of a change to the birth record was the protection of privacy, not the recognition of a change of sex- so there is no “acquired gender” for the person to marry. Malta has had civil unions for gay couples only since 2014.

In Japan, the applicant must have no living child aged 19 or younger. This took effect in 2008- so our rights may be restricted, even after we gain them. Liechtenstein has the explicit provision that a gender change may not be reversed. Why ever not? No-one applies for gender recognition frivolously. In Luxembourg, the identity card and passport can only be changed after gender recognition. The general principle in case law is that gender is immutable, so there must be exceptional circumstances and Necessity. Whereas to me, gender change is entirely normal: rare, but not exceptional.

In Romania, you can only change your first name after the court has recognised your change of gender. In Serbia, the psychiatrist who diagnoses GID is obliged to talk to the patient’s family and friends in order to confirm the diagnosis. Only after surgery can the applicant change his/her name, and get a corrected ID card and passport.

Each US state has different rules. In Alabama, an amended birth certificate is issued which indicates that the sex has been changed.

The whole is a patchwork. We must be controlled, and made to jump through hoops; and where the authorities graciously deign to recognise gender change, our rights are not the same as those of others. But really someone’s sex is nobody’s business but their own.

Monet, Camille Monet on a bench

6 thoughts on “Gender Recognition

  1. I note that in a link you provided in a comment on a previous post, that in NZ the requirement to change one’s gender on one’s birth certificate is that one must have undergone or is undergoing medical treatment. It doesn’t specify reassignment surgery. So perhaps here, surgery isn’t a requirement. As far as other forms of identity such as a passport or driver’s license, it’s much more liberal. One only has to declare that one wants to be identified as a specific gender. One also has the option of specifying no gender (X instead of M or F).


    • I did not quote the whole thing. Has undergone such medical treatment as is usually regarded by medical experts as desirable to enable persons of the genetic and physical conformation of the applicant at birth to acquire a physical conformation that accords with the gender identity of a person of the nominated sex;

      I got all the gen for this post in the same document.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. It’s interesting to see just how different the requirements are depending on a country.

    It really shows just how the laws often do not stand on what is more logical but instead what is more commonly accepted by the people living in the said country.

    I do not believe that being sterile should be one of the requirememts.
    No one should force sterility on you unless there is a good chance that you will not be able to produce a healthy child.

    Also i can imagine that most of these surgeries are not completely covered by insurance in most of the places.
    So even if you do want to have a surgery, the time it takes to fork up the money is years of life being spent being identified as something that you do not identify as.


    • It is lovely to see you still here. Rin thinks you will always be her lolcow, and she will be your milkmaid: she will place her head against your flank, whisper “Oh, Thonis, you know you want it” and give your teat a good squeeze. Whereas I know that you can escape such a fate, eventually.

      And here you are taking an interest in people with a problem you (I hope) do not have, which is advanced empathy. I am laughing, but not in a hostile manner.

      I don’t think law or morality is logical. There is the Categorical Imperative- Act only according to that maxim whereby you can, at the same time, will that it should become a universal law– from which Kant presumed to deduce morality, but for me I decide what is right by moral feeling, like Hume. Attraction and aversion, Yum and Yuck, make my moral decision, and the expression of it is rationalising rather than rational argument.

      I saved up for it. A friend waited ten years on the UK NHS for the operation. It cost me about the price of a cheap new car. Before, all the time I “tucked”– I pushed my testicles up into the inguinal canal from whence they had descended, pushed my penis back between my legs, and put on tight knickers to hold it all in place. I looked OK in a swimming costume. But yes, people should have the choice.


  3. On some local websites mention is made of the fact that full genital surgery is not always required. In fact the regulations only mention “Has undergone such medical treatment as is usually regarded by medical experts as desirable to enable persons of the genetic and physical conformation of the applicant at birth to acquire a physical conformation that accords with the gender identity of a person of the nominated sex.” Seems the courts have interpreted this quite liberally.

    For passports and driver’s licence, all one needs is to complete a Statutory Declaration indicating (a) The sex / gender identity one wishes to be displayed in one’s passport (M,F or X), and (b) How long one has maintained one’s current sex / gender identity.

    So for many documents it’s simply a declaration that one has assumed a specific gender, for birth certificates, it’s a somewhat more torturous route, but becoming easier as the medical profession broaden their definition of gender identity.


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