Greece now allows transgender children to attain legal recognition
Lawmakers in Greece have passed a bill which makes it radically easier for transgender people to legally transition.
The new law removes the need for trans people in Greece to undergo sterilisation to have their gender legally recognised.
The law will impact anyone aged 17 and older.
Children between the age of 15 and 17 will also have access to the legal gender recognition process.
However, they will still have to obtain a certificate from a medical council.
In addition, trans people will need to be single to access the process, possibly forcing some couples to divorce against their will.
And a judge will have to decide if the person’s gender expression/presentation matches their gender marker before legal recognition is granted.
Evelyne Paradis, ILGA-Europe Executive Director, said about the law: “Progress – but not perfect.
“Today is a great step forward, but it’s a shame that the step was not one towards full self-determination for all trans people in Greece,” she added.
When it was being discussed, it was originally said that the bill would allow trans people as young as 15 to change the gender on their identity cards and other official documents without having to provide evidence of a physical transition.
Prior to this debate, trans people were required to have had gender reassignment surgery and to have undergone psychiatric assessment in order to change their gender marker.
The assessment was required for trans people to be diagnosed with ‘gender identity disorder’.
This is a common occurrence worldwide, with even a simple change of name still posing a problem for a lot of trans people.
It was said that Greece’s amended bill would allow official documents to be changed via a simple declaration.
It would have enabled trans people from the age of 15 to legally change their gender marker – a right which is only available to British trans people at 18.
The bill would have stated that the changing of legal gender is a personal choice, and should not be decided by medical tests, therapies, and surgeries.
The Greek transgender community hailed the proposed change as a step which would “significantly improve their daily lives by allowing them to have identity papers that match the gender they identify with.”
Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras insisted the move was “a basic human right for a segment of society that has been marginalised for too long.
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“We are with those who have no voice or whose voice is being strangled.
“With the stigmatised, with the repressed minorities, with the people who are living through all kinds of inequality and isolation.
“It is those people’s rights who we aim to defend,” he added.
Anna Apergi, the head of a transgender support association who was participating in a rally outside parliament during the bill’s debate, said: “Of course we are in favour of the passage of the bill, as this is about our lives.
“It is about recognising our very existence.”