A massive victory for transgender people took place in France yesterday, as they joined the growing list of countries where trans people can legally change their gender without surgery.
This means several key things: no more psychiatrist certificates, no more proof of sex reassignment surgery and most importantly, an end to the demand for sterilisation.
While the second reading was voted in by the National Assembly, it does still need to go to the Senate for approval. After the National Assembly voted for the amendments, the changes mean anyone can change their gender status, as long as they are able to demonstrate “by an adequate combination of facts that their legal gender status does not match their lived gender”.
The amendment gives some examples of the evidence required, and it suggests that a person can show that they are living according to their gender identity socially, at work and within their family environment.
As well as applying to adults, it also applies to “emancipated minors” – young people held competent enough to make important decisions for themselves.
While this is a great victory for the transgender people of France, it isn’t the win many were hoping for as campaigners were pressing for self-certification.
While advocates such as Inter LGBT expressed regret that judges were not removed from the process entirely, or that gender recognition wasn’t opened to all young people, they were still pleased with the progress and seemed to hope that these amendments could be made when these changes are heard by the Senate.
Clémence Zamora-Cruz, spokesperson for umbrella group Inter-LGBT, had this to say: “The work is not complete: but it is a step forward, as medicalization is no longer required.”