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Watch: This is what trans people are forced to go through in 34 European countries

Nick Duffy February 23, 2015

A video has been released showing some of the hurdles trans people to go through to gain access to legal gender recognition.

Transgender Europe released the clip to raise awareness of some of the archaic regulations that govern gender – with some countries still regarding trans people as mentally ill.

TGEU said: “For most trans people in Europe, it is either impossible or very difficult and humiliating to get a passport or other identity documents with their correct name and gender.

“In fact, 34 countries in Europe still do not allow a trans person to change their name and registered gender without invasive and abusive requirements that violate their human rights.

3 of the worst requirements are being forced to undergo sterilisation and other medical interventions, being forced to get a divorce (if married), or having to receive a diagnosis of mental illness, despite not being mentally ill, or a ‘psychological opinion’.

“As a result, most trans people in Europe are not able to change their legal name and gender, or they refuse to do so because of the abusive requirements.

“This means that they have passports and other identity documents that don’t match their identity and appearance. When asked to prove their identity, for example when travelling, opening a bank account, renting an apartment, or picking up a parcel from a post office, trans people may be forced to come out as trans, accused of being a fraud, and become vulnerable to humiliation, discrimination and violence.

“It is not a surprise therefore, that 73% of trans people in the EU think that better legal gender recognition laws, that allow them to change their name and gender more easily, would allow them to live more comfortably.

The 34 countries named by TGEU are Austria, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Luxembourg, Malta, Moldova, Montenegro, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine, and the United Kingdom.

In addition, 14 countries do not have any laws to allow a legal change of gender.

In the UK, the Gender Recognition Act specifies that trans people must have reports from two registered medical practitioners or registered psychologists.

Trans people who are married or in a civil partnership must either divorce, or gain the permission of their spouse to transition.

More: Europe, Europe, European, gender, gender recognition, TGEU, Trans, Transgender, transition, UK

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