Taiwan’s Ministry of Health and Welfare has decided to allow people to change their legal gender without transitioning.
After a heated 3-hour debate today (Dec 9), the ministry concludes that individuals intending to change their legal gender need not go through any medical procedures, including psychiatric evaluation.
Transgender and intersex communities have hailed the decision for matching their needs.
For one, doctors in existing evaluation have to meet with patients’ parents, whose veto power is a nightmare for many adult children.
The Ministry of Interior, another stumbling block, will come up with relevant policies and details to help put the new decision into practice, after further review and discussion.
‘The Interior Ministry’s household registration system is linked with all our legal documents, so the sex registered at birth will have to change for other legal papers to change,’ said intersex rights activist Hiker Chiu to Gay Star News.
Under the MOI’s existing executive rules, an individual needs two psychiatrists to give the greenlight and must remove all relevant sexual organs to qualify for a new gender.
Compulsory surgery is nothing less than torture for many, an argument that also surfaces in the debate today.
‘Gender identification always comes down to the person,’ Chiu said. ‘This is something the Interior Ministry has to learn all over again.’
A woman was once forced to face discrimination for 36 years because she, wrongly registered as male at birth, could simply do nothing thanks to its rigid rules, Chiu notes.
While a psychiatrist points to the importance of evaluation citing two cases of post-transitioning suicide, an activist suggests in the debate adaptation difficulty is indeed more of a social problem.
It is the double requirements of evaluation and sex reassignment surgery, which, together with monetary and physical constraints, prevent trans people from obtaining their desired legal gender and bring problems, the activist says according to newtalk.tw.
Argentina last year became the first country in the world to allow adults to legally change their gender without any opereation or approval from doctors.