On Tuesday, ten transgender Colombians became the first to get IDs under newly adopted rules giving the South American country one of the world's most progressive gender identity codes.
The rules, which took effect on Friday, make Colombia just one of four countries in the Americas and Europe that allow people to change their legal gender by simply filing a declaration.
Most other countries that allow for people to change their legal gender require a doctor to sign-off on the requests. Many also require people to undergo sterilization or other procedures before they can change their documentation. Twenty-three European countries, including Russia, Norway, and Italy, have laws requiring proof of sterilization on the books, though a recent ruling from the European Court of Human Rights challenging a Turkish law lays the groundwork for overturning them.
Since Argentina became the first country to allow people to change their legal gender through self-declaration in 2012, this has become the new gold standard for laws supported by transgender rights activists. Denmark and Malta adopted similar laws within the past year, and Ireland seems poised to follow suit.
Now trans Colombians can simply file a declaration with a notary and have their documentation changed.
"To request a change of gender, no additional documents will be required other than identification and an affidavit #IDecide," tweeted Colombia's Ministry of Justice.
The Ministry of Justice also tweeted this picture of two people holding a sign that says, "Order #1227 recognizes how our identity is constructed."
"#EqualityIsUnstoppable," tweeted Lozano with this picture outside the notary's office where the ceremony took place.
The decree followed a campaign under the banner of #AquelarreTrans (#TransCoven), the name of a trans rights group that circulated pictures like these on social media.
Here is the full decree.
H/T Andrés Duque
J. Lester Feder is a world correspondent for BuzzFeed News and is based in Washington, DC. His secure PGP fingerprint is 2353 DB68 8AA6 92BD 67B8 94DF 37D8 0A6F D70B 7211
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