Some trans Australians can now change their birth certificate gender without surgery

Transgender people in the Australian state of Victoria will now be able to change the gender on their birth certificates without undergoing gender-confirmation surgery.

The birth certificate bill, which passed in the Victorian Upper House on 26-14 on Tuesday 27, August, now just needs royal assent to become law.

Victoria is the fifth Australian state to pass a law making it easier for trans people to change the legal gender on their birth certificates without undergoing surgical intervention.

Equality minister Martin Foley told 3AW: “Interstate and international evidence shows that while not a large number of people take up these options, it simply is an option that’s there to people; the choice to make sure that identity documents reflect the reality of the life that people live.”

Victoria joins Tasmania,  Northern Territory, South Australia and the ACT.

Tasmania first Australian territory to reform gender recognition laws.

Tasmania passed landmark trans rights reforms in April 2019.

The sweeping reforms, which extended existing gender recognition laws, meant that trans people over the age of 16 could change their registered gender without undergoing surgery to have their legal gender recognised, and gave new parents the option to leave gender off their babies birth certificates altogether.

The reforms also boosted anti-discrimination protections for trans people.

A spokesperson for Tasmanian Families for Transgender Kids, Candace Harrington, said: “Parents of transgender and gender diverse kids are just so happy that our kids will no longer face legal discrimination and will be able to live their lives true to themselves.

“We are over the moon about these landmark reforms and are deeply grateful to all those politicians who have listened to our stories and supported us along the way.

“My message to other parents around Australia is to tell your personal stories as we have done. We overcame prejudice and politics and you can too.”

Birth certificate reforms in Australia come at a time when the anti-LGBT+ lobby are targeting trans kids in schools.

The Australian anti-trans campaign mirrors the tactics of UK-based anti-transgender activists, with lobby group Transgender Trend launching school resource packs in 2018.