Transgender people in Ontario can now amend their gender on their birth certificates without first having to undergo gender confirmation surgery.

Ontario is the first province in Canada to scrap the requirement, a move that has been hailed as an important victory for the transgender community.

New rules that have now come into force allow transgender people born in the Canadian province to apply to have their documents amended by submitting a letter from a doctor or a psychologist.

It stems from a ruling by the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario from earlier this spring in the case of a woman known as “XY”.

The tribunal found the legislation requiring proof of “transsexual surgery” to alter birth documents to be discriminatory.

It said the requirement added to the stigma felt by members of the transgender community and reinforced stereotypes surrounding how they experience gender.

Susan Gapka, chair of the Trans Lobby Group, hailed the change as a crucial step for the transgender community in having their gender identity recognised.

“We’re going to celebrate this victory — because it is a victory, it’s a giant leap forward,” she said.