MP shares moving photos of trans son after historic reforms to gender recognition laws

Australian politician Cassy O’Connor has shared moving photos of her transgender son, Jasper, receiving his new identification documents after landmark reforms to gender recognition laws in Tasmania came into effect.

The new laws, which came into force on Thursday, 5 September, make Tasmania the first Australian state in which gender is optional on birth certificates.

They bring Tasmania in line with the Australian Capital Territory, Northern Territory, South Australia and Western Australia.

The change also means trans people no longer have to undergo medical intervention to be able to change the gender on their birth certificates in Tasmania.

Victoria also reformed its gender-recognition laws in August 2019, making it possible for trans people to change the gender on their birth certificates without undergoing gender-confirmation surgery.

O’Connor, who is leader of the Tasmanian Greens, said she “couldn’t be prouder” of her son, who is pictured “getting his identity documents in order and getting on with the rest of his life”.

“As a result of historic reforms passed through both houses of Tasmania’s parliament in April this year, transgender and intersex Tasmanians can change their birth certificates without undergoing invasive surgery,” O’Connor wrote in a Facebook post.

“Transgender, intersex and gender diverse Tasmanians are already some of the most marginalised and discriminated against people within our community.

“The Tasmanian parliament has already made its choice; moving to make sure the law is fair and allows transgender, intersex and gender diverse people are able to have identity documents that reflect who they are.

“Today is a day for celebration but the struggle for equality and fairness continues.”

Cassy O’Connor and Jasper. (Cassy O’Connor)

The Australian state’s parliament passed a bill on April 10 to permit people 16 or older to change their registered gender, removing requirements for trans people to undergo surgery in order to have their legal gender recognised.

The landmark reforms also boost anti-discrimination protections for trans people, and give new parents the option to leave gender off of birth certificates.

The bill passed by a vote of 13-12, after Liberal Party of Australia speaker Sue Hickey sided with opposition Labor and Greens MPs in backing reforms against the wishes of the Liberal government.