AUSPATH STATEMENT ON LEGAL GENDER RECOGNITION
The Australian Professional Association for Trans Health (AusPATH) recognises the right of all people to legal identity recognition and to identity documents consistent with their gender identity. Further, for optimal physical and mental health, all persons must enjoy the right to freely express their gender identity, whether or not that identity conforms to the expectations of others.
Legally-recognised documents matching self-identity are essential to the ability of all people to find employment, to navigate everyday transactions, to obtain health care, and to travel safely; Gender diversity should not preclude individuals from enjoying the legal recognition all citizens expect and deserve. Barriers to legal recognition harm an individual’s physical and mental health.
AusPATH opposes surgery or sterilisation requirements to change legal gender markers. No particular medical (including hormonal) or surgical procedure is an adequate indicator of a person’s gender identity. These should not be requirements for legal gender change. A person’s self-declared gender should suffice.
AusPATH recognises gender is not binary, and that choices for legal identity that are limited to “Male or Female” inadequately reflect the diversity of gender. AusPATH supports the option of “non-binary” as a personal choice.
Marital status should not affect legal recognition of gender, and appropriate legal gender recognition should be available to all, including young people. The right to legal recognition of gender extends to those incarcerated or institutionalised. Court hearings create financial and logistical barriers to legal gender change, and may also violate personal privacy rights or needs.
Therefore, the Australian Professional Association for Trans Health urges governments to eliminate unnecessary barriers, and to institute simple and accessible administrative procedures for gender diverse people to obtain legal recognition of gender, consistent with each individual’s identity.
AusPATH Board of Directors
Statement updated: February 2021
Statement published: September 2018