LGBT rights advocates on Wednesday launched a petition calling for the elimination of a rule requiring transgender people to provide proof of surgery to change their legal gender.
According to Ministry of the Interior regulations, an applicant must provide certification of diagnosis from two psychiatric specialists, as well as proof of surgery from a qualified medical institution to change their legally designated gender.
More specifically, transgender men must provide proof of having removed their breasts, uterus and overies, while transgender women must have removed their penis and testicles, the rules say.
In honor of International Transgender Day of Visibility, the Taiwan Alliance to Promote Civil Partnership Rights launched a petition calling for the elimination of these requirements.
A transgender client the group is representing on Wednesday appeared in court to challenge the rule, alliance legal team convener Victoria Hsu (許秀雯) said.
Since the client was designated male at birth due to her reproductive characteristics, but identifies as female, if she is to change her legal gender, she would need to remove her genitalia, Hsu said.
However, not every transgender person wishes to undergo surgery, Hsu said, adding that the rule amounts to forced sterilization.
The client sued the ministry, demanding that the surgery requirement be removed, she said, adding that gender identity is a basic human right.
Registering with the government should not depend on methods that grossly infringe on human rights, Hsu said.
This is by no means the first condemnation of the rule, as transgender and human rights organizations have been decrying its immorality for more than a decade, she said.
Aside from seeking recourse in court, the alliance has also launched a petition in the hopes of helping more people understand transgender Taiwanese and their plight, Hsu added.
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