TransGender Victoria has welcomed the Australian Human Rights Commission’s paper into legal recognition of sex and gender diverse Australians.
Human Rights Commissioner Graeme Innes launched the paper, Sex Files: The legal recognition of sex in documents and government records, at Parliament House in Canberra on Tuesday.
Innes said he hopes the report, which contains 15 recommendations, prompts the government to implement changes to create a fairer and less complicated identification system that recognises sex and gender diversity.
The investigation was conducted in consultation with the sex and gender diverse community last year with public meetings in all major capital cities and an online blog open for public submissions.
-œWhile some people who are sex or gender diverse take steps to rectify or come to terms with this situation themselves, others have the decision made for them when they are young.
-œBoth potentially face the humiliation and added frustration of having to argue for their sex or gender at some stage in their lives when asked for identification by various official documents, Innes said.
The commission found official documentation and government records were -œfraught with inconsistencies, causing people frustration and distress.
-œThe appalling thing about this situation over sex and gender identity in documentation and records is the disruption it causes in the life of the person concerned by putting a spotlight on what in many cases is a very private matter in an otherwise completely ordinary life… a life that is lived without usually having to make such frustrating and embarrassing justifications.
TransGender Victoria spokeswoman Sally Goldner said she has been pleased with the recommendations made so far.
-œIf all the recommendations are taken up it would go a long way to solve the documentation issues that sex and gender diverse people have in Australia, she said.
Goldner said the report deals with one of the top three priorities facing the sex and gender diverse community. Other priorities include health and medical issues and equal opportunity law.
-œOur ideas went across the whole policy spectrum and [the report] focused on the documentation issue specifically, so there’s still work to do, but combining that with the federal government aim to get some federal equal opportunity law on the board, then overall we’d be pretty happy.
Goldner said although the report is -œsolid, the toughest part is still ahead, with the federal Government still to take up the recommendations and the states and territories to fall in line.
-œIt’s always a hard one to say how confident you can be, but it’s a really clear-cut summary of where we’re at and where we need to be. I think it’s been really important -” it’s put everything in one report that will get through to people.