Over 15,000 people have signed a petition created by a transgender 18-year-old from the Sunshine Coast calling for birth certificate reform.
In Queensland, transgender people are required to undergo expensive and invasive gender affirmation surgery before they can update the gender markers on their birth certificate.
Lorelei Tuxworth, who lives in Buderim, started the Change.org petition a month ago calling for Queensland to catch up with other states.
“Every state and territory – with the exception of Queensland and New South Wales – has removed this requirement,” Lorelei explains in her Change.org petition.
“It merely serves as a pointless obstacle to transgender people who are unable or unwilling to have the surgery.”
The expensive and invasive surgeries aren’t accessible to many trans and gender diverse Australians 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.
“The Queensland government should, as many governments before it have, ditch this unnecessary and inhumane requirement,” Lorelei wrote.
“[The government must] allow transgender people to have their gender legally recognised without the need for surgery.”
Transgender Queenslander says ‘changing one letter means a lot’
Lorelei Tuxworth told ABC News she successfully changed her name. However she was disappointed to discover she couldn’t also update the gender markers.
She said gender affirmation surgery was “a topic of discomfort” for many trans people.
“For a lot of trans people, there are reasons either medical or financial, that make it difficult for us to get the surgery,” she said.
She said many deemed it unnecessary “because it puts forward an idea that sex and gender are the same thing, which they’re not.”
Tuxworth said affirming 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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