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Denmark could soon allow trans teens to legally change gender

Patrick Kelleher July 30, 2019

Spectators are seen at Copenhagen Pride Parade in Denmark. (Ole Jensen - Corbis/Corbis via Getty Images)

There is broad political support in Denmark for a change in the law which would allow transgender and non-binary people who are under 18 to legally change their gender.

Denmark has allowed people over 18 to legally change their gender since 2014, however the law leaves out trans and non-binary teenagers.

Now, most political parties—including the Social Democrats, Red Green Alliance, Social Liberal and Liberal parties—all support a change in the law to allow minors to legally change their gender too, Kristeligt Dagblad reports.

Trans and non-binary young people can face challenges with healthcare in Denmark

In Denmark, the Central Personal Registration (CPR) provides people with access to the public health system—however, a person’s number corresponds with their gender. This means that trans and non-binary people can face challenges in accessing healthcare in Denmark unless they have legally changed their gender.

“We know that it means a lot to children who do not identify as the gender denoted by their CPR number. It puts them in a lot of uncomfortable situations,” said Red Green equality spokesperson Mai Villadsen.

In 2018, the previous government set up a panel to discuss the issue as a part of its LGBTI equality plan. That panel has yet to reach a conclusion, however the party that founded it is supportive of change too. A spokesperson for the Liberal party said they were supportive of the idea, as did a spokesperson for the Social Democrats.

We know that it means a lot to children who do not identify as the gender denoted by their CPR number. It puts them in a lot of uncomfortable situations.

Meanwhile, the Social Liberals in Denmark are supportive of the change to the law—however, they want to see a minimum age of 15.

Gender recognition laws vary significantly across the world

Laws vary significantly across the world when it comes to self-identification for trans and non-binary people. In the UK, the Gender Recognition Act means that trans people must live as the gender they identify with for two years before they can legally transition. You must also be over 18 to legally change gender in the UK.

The British government has promised to reform the Gender Recognition Act, however the changes have not yet been enacted. A poll conducted by PinkNews earlier this month found that 46 percent of adults support self-identification.

Meanwhile, the Netherlands changed its laws in April of this year to allow transgender people to change their gender on passports before the age of 16.

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