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France’s new law allows trans citizens to change their name and gender without surgery

France’s new law allows trans citizens to change their name and gender without surgery

Transgender people given more rights in France

France has just introduced a new legal gender recognition procedure that will allow transgender citizens who have not gone through sterilisation and medicalisation to have their legal name and gender changed.

On Wednesday, the French parliament voted on the 21st century justice law (La loi sur la justice au XX1eme siècle) which included provisions relating to legal gender recognition.

Under the updated process, trans individuals will no longer be needed to be sterilised before being legally recognised in their true gender, ILGA-Europe reports.

There will be no requirement to provide proof of medical treatment. Emancipated minors (young people held competent to take important decisions on their own behalf) will also be able to access the updated procedure.

However, the revised legislation still holds several restrictions. For instance, a trans individual will still have to go to court to have their gender legally recognised as the procedure is not based on self-determination.

Evelyne Paradis, ILGA-Europe Executive Director congratulated the trans community in the country.

‘Congratulations to all the trans community in France and the activist movement that has pushed for this profound change!’ she said. ‘This is a sign of clear progress – another European country has dispensed with the shameful practice of sterilisation and the intrusion that accompanied medicalisation.’

She noted that there are model examples ready for France to follow suit — countries like Denmark, Malta, Ireland and Norway in the region.

These countries have ‘chosen to respect the bodily integrity of trans people and opt for self-determination,’ Paradis said.

She added: ‘The fact that France did not take the more progressive and humane path open to it is very regretful. The fight will go on for full equality and respect for trans people in France.’

Sophie Aujean, ILGA-Europe’s Senior Policy and Programmes Officer, also reflected on the new law:

‘Ruben, one of the trans people who shared their testimony as part of a video campaign before the vote, put it perfectly:

“… An ideal world, as far as I am concerned, would be a world where we would stop judging each other; where we would let people live their lives in the way they have chosen…”

‘While the law finalised today is not 100% perfect, it is a purposeful step towards the ideal world that Ruben spoke of.’

You can watch the campaign video here: