Last week marked a new page for transgender Victorian’s in our fight for legal equality.
From May 1, 2020, trans and gender diverse Victorian’s can now alter the sex recorded on their birth certificate without having to undergo invasive and costly sex affirmation surgery.
The Births, Death and Marriages Amendment Act 2019 passed by Victorian parliament in August last year officially became law on Friday.
“We’ve removed an unfair and unnecessary barrier – allowing trans and gender diverse Victorians to finally access a birth certificate that truly reflects who they are without having to undergo invasive and costly surgery,” says Victorian Attorney-General Jill Hennessy to the Star Observer.
Trans and gender diverse Victorian’s can now self-nominate the sex listen on their birth certificate. The sex registered on Victorian birth certificates is no longer required solely to be binary male and binary female, gender diverse and non-binary descriptors can now be registered on Victorian birth certificate.
Other gender descriptors include but are not limited to include non-binary, genderqueer, sistergirl, brotherboy, agender, greygender, fa’afafine, neuorqueer and hijra.
For an adult to change their birth certificate they must fill out the application form which can be found on the Victorian birth, deaths and marriages website.
You are required to sign a statutory declaration stating you believe this change will make your birth certificate more accurate.
You are also required to present a supporting document from another adult who has known you for more than 12 months which reinforces the information given in the statutory declaration.
22-year-old Valkyrie Willow expressed her relief in the new ruling to Star Observer:
“I can now legally be recognised as my real gender; I’ll no longer have to worry about places such as doctor’s office insisting I’m a man because that what my file says.”
Zara Jones, who identifies as trans female expressed similar excitement:
“Finally I’ll be able to have legal documentation which appropriately reflects my gender”
For those under 18, this process requires a statutory declaration from a parent or guardian and a supporting document from a doctor, psychologist, or adult who has known you for more than 12 months and isn’t your parent/guardian. For those under 16, you must provide an affirmation of your capacity to consent, demonstrating your understanding of what changing your legal sex means to you.
Victorian Minister for Equality Martin Foley told the Star Observer:
“Equality is not negotiable in Victoria and today, we’re a step closer to achieving it for all LGBTQI Victorians – this is about delivering a basic right which was long overdue.”
Unfortunately, these new laws only apply to Victorian birth certificates.
Victorian’s born outside of Victoria will not be able to change their birth certificates unless their state of birth has enacted similar laws.
Those born outside of Victoria can however, apply for a gender recognition certificate in Victoria under the new Laws.
All links and more information can be found at the Births, Deaths and Marriages website.