Queensland government to introduce vital trans reform bill later this year

Queensland attorney general Shannon Fentiman speaks at an event as government removes hiv co-payments
Queensland Attorney-General Shannon Fentiman. Photo: Facebook

Queensland’s Attorney-General has said the state government will introduce legislation to reform birth certificate laws to benefit transgender Queenslanders later this year, after years of lobbying by advocates.

Trans and gender diverse Queenslanders must undergo expensive and invasive gender affirmation surgery before they can update gender markers on birth certificates. Many trans and gender diverse Australians can’t access the surgeries for various financial, medical, faith or personal reasons.

As a result, many must then “out” themselves in various situations requiring their birth certificate. The discrepancy can also lead to misgendering, which negatively affects transgender people’s mental health.

In a petition earlier this year, Queenslander Esther Vale called for the state government to scrap the surgery requirement and make other changes to birth certificate laws.

Vale wrote, “The current legislation is the weakest in the country for recognition of trans and gender diverse people, and should be updated.

“There are several relatively simple changes that will make a vast increase in inclusivity and acceptance of LGBT+ people.

“People should have the right to legally register as they self-identify.

“This means removing the requirement for a person to undergo sex reassignment surgery to change the sex listed on their birth certificate.

“The sex marker should also be changed without ‘annotation’, as there is no reason for these documents to out people.

“To include people of a third or non-binary gender, birth certificates should at least have an additional ‘X’ option.

“Queensland should also provide ‘recognised details certificates’ as other States and Territories do.”

The e-petition to State Parliament closed in March after it received 10,838 signatures.

Queensland Attorney-General says transgender law reforms coming this year

Queensland Attorney-General Shannon Fentiman (pictured) recently formally responded to the petition.

Fentiman said the Queensland government was aiming to introduce legislation to address the issues later in the year.

“The Department of Justice and Attorney-General is currently working hard to bring a Bill before the House this year,” she said.

Fentiman said the legislation will “address many of the issues raised, and other important matters, in the petition,” without giving any details.

Queensland has lagged behind almost every other Australian state and territory on the issue.

Gina Mather, president of the Australian Transgender Support Association Queensland (ATSAQ), said ATSAQ and other community groups have lobbied the state government for more than eight years for the important reforms.

Mather told QNews.com.au the passage of the birth certificate legislation, if comprehensive, would be a “momentous occasion” for Queensland’s trans and gender diverse community.

Earlier this year, Queenslander Lorelei Tuxworth also started a Change.org petition calling for the laws to be reformed.

She said the ability to affirm her gender identity on her birth certificate would give her “a lot more validity”.

“Even though it is just changing one letter, it would certainly mean quite a lot to me,” she said.

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  1. Paul
    12 May 2021

    This is long overdue indeed and I warmly welcome this great opportunity for thousands of trans*, non-binary & intersex people. If only NSW allowed me to not have sex or gender listed on my birth certificate as an option legally – I will die happy when I am 60, just before I apply to access my super!

  2. Tayla
    12 May 2021

    I attended a Births Deaths and Marriages Queensland forum a few years ago. The talk even back then was positive and enthusiastic to get the reform done, however, it wasn’t seen by QLD government at the time as an important topic and left to the back burner year after. Now finally we hope this gets passed up and Queensland born trans and gender diverse people can be validated, not just by a piece of paper, but their livelihood is now reflecting who they really are by means of true representation of their gender preference without expensive surgeries. Make it happen.

    • Trans Health Australia
      7 August 2022

      We wrote to the QLD State Government as well as every other state government and initiated those discussions where we also met Tayla.

      So yes, this is long overdue and here we are now in 2022 and these reforms still haven’t gone through parliament. This leaves many trans and gender diverse Queenslanders still out in the cold and wondering when this will eventually happen and if the QLD ALP government really does care about out human rights.

  3. Mara
    13 May 2021

    Anyone that’s honestly against this has way too much time on their hands, really. I’m initially from Melbourne who did the same thing and the community was ecstatic! It’s time to catch up, changing gender markers hurts no one; not allowing to change thing hurts many.

  4. Alana Lee lamberton
    21 June 2021

    Hi I came out 6 years ago as my true self & when I read this I Nealy cryed because they are going to change the law’s very soon or well I hope so because I have a pub in Gladstone Qld Australia called Rock Glen hotel who will not let me use the lady’s rest room’s yelling me I am to go into a wheelchair rest room witch I not happy about told them that is descrimanain they don’t listen & I want to get married as women to have that changed on our birth mean the world to me & other like me.

  5. Angela
    13 October 2021

    I would like to know what community consultation has been done, particularly with women’s groups. What could be the outcome of this legislation if men are able to self-ID into women’s single-sex spaces? Similar legislation was stopped in the UK due to concerns over unintended harms to women.

    • KBers
      2 August 2022

      Yes! This. Its clear supporters of this bill have good intentions, but it ignores the impact on women and children, who have not been consulted.

      This bill dismantles safeguards in womens spaces and gaslights women and children about what they see, making it impossible for them to challenge people who do not belong in their spaces.

      It is in direct conflict with womens rights.

      • Trans Health Australia
        7 August 2022

        Trans women have been accessing women’s spaces and services for decades. Trans women are women, so what is the problem? So don’t you think it’s time you got over it?

  6. Rosalind Donovan
    17 October 2021

    Big pharma big med are so happy that it has medical patients for life. It’s capitalism colonising bodies. The next big market opportunity.

  7. Rosalind Donovan
    17 October 2021

    What will be the effect on Data collection, medical records, women only spaces, such as domestic violence shelters, prisons, changing rooms etc. Does the Government intend to introduce self id like we have seen in some other places in the world? Where men have been able to declare themselves women without any body changes.

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