After two years of waiting, Quebecers can finally change the sex on provincial documents without having to undergo surgery.
Announced this week, people looking to change their documents need only to affirm the following:
- That their chosen sex best fits their gender identity
- That they intend to continue living with that identity
- That they understand the seriousness of their decision
- That they're making the change voluntarily
Those who have changed the sex marker on documents in the past will still be required to provide a letter from a medical professional, however.
It's a big change from the previous rules that required evidence of sex-reassignment surgery. While some people do get these surgeries, many trans people choose not to.
Although Quebec decided two years ago to change the surgical requirement, it's still been in place as the province mulled over what the new rules would be. The updated rules go into affect on Oct. 1.
For advocates like Gabrielle Bouchard, this is a gigantic leap in the right direction.
It's also good news for people who are intersex — a broad term that refers to those born with reproductive organs, sexual anatomy and/or chromosomes that differ from traditional medical definitions of male and female.
But Bouchard's not done. The Centre For Gender Advocacy, along with four trans Quebec residents, has filed a lawsuit against the province’s attorney general to make further changes.
Lauren Strapagiel is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Toronto, Canada.
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