Transgender People In The UK Can Now Get Passports Without A Doctor’s Note

UK Citizens can now change to their preferred gender without documentation of undergoing any form of gender reassignment surgery.

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As of this month in the United Kingdom, transgender citizens will be allowed to change the gender on their passports without getting a medical note from a doctor. As part of a new document from the UK Government Equalities Office [PDF], officials have vowed to tackle a multitude of rising issues in today’s gender and equality dialogue.

Authorities have agreed to review the Gender Recognition Act, which in 2004 required a medical ID to legally change one’s gender. They have also begun to remove unnecessary dialogue about gender in all legal paperwork.

The New Committee Report on Gender Equality also discusses allowing people younger than 16 to be recognized as transgender. A spokesman for the Government stated that

“HMPO will extend the range of supporting documentation that can be used by an applicant to demonstrate use of their gender of choice in their daily life. This will mirror the approach adopted for passport applicants who wish to change their name.”

Nicky Morgan, Minister for Women and Equalities said

“Nobody should suffer discrimination, harassment or bullying because of who they are. As a country, we have come a long way in terms of lesbian, gay and bisexual equality, but of course we have much further to go.”

TRANSGENDER RIGHTS IN THE U.S.

Currently for the U.S., however, the fight continues to allow transgender people to change their sex on official documents. Currently to change your gender, the U.S. government states that you are required to bring an ID that resembles your current appearance, a current passport photo that resembles your current appearance, proof of a legal name change (if applicable) and a physician statement that validates that you are in the process of treatment for a gender transition.

This is bad news for those who are transgender that specifically choose not to get gender reassignment surgery for their own personal reasons. According to The Williams Institute, published in April 2011, and based on two state-level population-based surveys, it is estimated that there were more than 8 million adults in the U.S. who identified as LGBT- about 3.5% of the total population.  1.7% identified as lesbian or gay, 1.8% as bisexual, and a smaller 0.3% identified as transgender.

The U.S. is still stuck on its transgender bathroom laws, so it would appear that the struggle for the small transgender population is not over yet.

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