A young student activist is calling on Finland to stop sterilizing and ‘torturing’ trans people, in an interview with Gay Star News.
Describing the cruel sterilization process trans people have to go through Sakris Kuplia describes the practice as ‘torture:’
‘You have to go through surgery where people are cutting you up and taking things away from you. Making you permanently sterile’
Watch as Kuplia describes the practice as one that has ‘echoes of eugenics:’
Kupila is the 21-year-old medical student leading the fight for trans people in Finland to have the right to choose their gender identity.
They describe the current process as a violation:
‘The psychiatric diagnosing process felt like I was handing my dignity, identity, and future over to doctors, nurses and officials that would thoroughly examine me and judge whether or not my sense of self was real or not’
‘The requirement of sterilization is a violation of bodily integrity.’
But even worse than this, Kuplia describes how the process of has echoes of Finland’s eugenics laws.
All four of the Nordic countries have eugenics laws in their history. Finland, Denmark Norway, and Sweden brought them in the 1930s, with most staying on the statute book until the late 1970s.
But despite repealing most of these laws – Finland has kept them, in part, for trans people.
International bodies have criticized the country for the law, including the United Nations and the European Court of Human Rights.
The Finnish Government recently refused to make any changes to the law after recommendations from the UN Human Rights Council.
What does Finland’s law say about trans people?
Finland’s Act on Legal Recognition of the Gender of Transsexuals requires people to ‘been sterilized’ or be ‘for some other reason infertile’ before their legal gender can be changed.
Moreover, they must also undergo extensive mental health screenings.
If someone does legally change their gender must also accept a diagnosis of ‘transsexualism.’
Non-binary trans people receive a diagnosis of ‘other gender disorders’ excluding them from getting any kind of legal gender recognition.
But, Finland is not the only country to require sterilization. Over 20 countries have the same laws.
Kuplia says it is already difficult enough being anything other than straight, so these laws create increased prejudice for trans people.
‘While I was living in a seemingly same-sex relationship I already faced homophobia and borderline transphobia. I got death threats and beatings, but didn’t dare speak up.’
However now, Kuplia has a message of hope as he travels the world to fight for trans rights in Finland.
‘When I was 16 I could never have imagined that I would grow up that I would be transitioning or speaking for trans people or for myself internationally that’s just mindblowing.’
Speaking directly to any young trans people fearing the laws and their future he says:
‘Hang in there, life got better for me and it can for you too.’
You can support Sakris Kuplia’s fight by joining the Amnesty International Write for Rights campaign now.
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