Vietnamese intersex woman ‘deeply shocked’ at decision to revoke gender recognition

Pham Le Quynh Tram says she will appeal authorities' decision to revoke legal recognition of her female gender

Vietnamese intersex woman ‘deeply shocked’ at decision to revoke gender recognition
28 January 2013

An intersex woman in Vietnam who successfully lobbied authorities to change her legally recognized gender from male to female in 2009, is ‘deeply shocked’ over an announcement last week that the decision will be revoked.

‘I was deeply shocked. I could not sleep. Four years since I changed my name and re-defined my sex, I have done nothing wrong nor lost the virtue of a Vietnamese woman,’ said Pham Le Quynh Tram, Tuoitrenews.vn reports.

Tram plans to appeal the decision made by provincial authorities in her home of Binh Phuoc in southern Vietnam in 2009.

‘I cannot describe my happiness of living with my true sex,’ said Tram, a secondary school teacher, at the time.

Tram’s passport, ID card, land and house ownership certificates and driving license all define her as female.

‘I don’t know why they want to revoke the decision that recognized me as female,’ Tram said.

‘I’m intersex so I am allowed to redefine my sex in accordance with the government’s Decree No 88.’

Tuoitrenews.vn report that to have a different gender on official documents in Vietnam people must be examined by a medical council and undergo realignment surgery at an authorized hospital.

Tram had gender realignment surgery in a hospital in Thailand so it wasn’t officially recognized by the authorities in Vietnam. 

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