Children in Australia can change genders with parent and doctor approval
Victoria has now become the fifth Australian state to allow transgender and gender diverse individuals to change their sex on their birth certificate. In addition, children are now able to self-nominate themselves in order to change their gender or select a non-binary descriptor of their choice, the Daily Mail has reported.
On Tuesday evening, birth certificate bill was passed 26-14 at the Victorian Upper House. The bill will officially become law after receiving royal assent, and marks a significant win in the fight for transgender equality in Australia.
It's a huge step forward for LGBTQ+ rights, as transgender people will now have the freedom to change their legal documents in order to reflect the sex they identify with socially. Trans individuals are also no longer required to undergo gender reassignment surgery in order to change their documents.
In addition, children who identify as transgender or non-binary will also be able to self-nominate in order to change their documents, as long as they have permission from their parents. Australian outlet The Age have also reported that a submission from a minor must also be accompanied by a statement from a psychologist or doctor.
This nine-year-old trans girl knew she was born the wrong gender from a young age:
On Wednesday, Equality Minister Martin Foley told 3AW:
"Interstate and international evidence shows that whilst not a large number of people take up these options it's simply is an option that's there to people.
"Its the choice to make sure that identity documents reflect the reality of the life that people live."
Victoria is now the fifth Australian state to pass these laws, joining Tasmania, Northern Territory, South Australia and the ACT - with Tasmania becoming the first state to make the inclusion on birth certificates back in April.
Taking to social media to celebrate the news, Attorney-General Jill Hennessy said the reforms were "overdue" - referencing the fact that the Andrews government failed to pass these laws through parliament in 2016.
"Our birth certificate reforms have passed the Parliament! These overdue reforms will ensure that trans and gender diverse people can have a birth certificate which reflects their true identity.
"A small thing to many, but it means a world of difference to someone else."
Gender diversity activists took to social media to celebrate the success, which marks a significant win in the fight for transgender equality in Australia.
In a statement, Hennessy also spoke about how the need for gender reassignment surgery prior to approval sent the wrong message about what it means to be trans:
"The current surgery requirement sends a painful and false message that there is something wrong with being trans or gender diverse that needs to be 'fixed' – that's why we're removing this cruel and unfair barrier."