Tasmania’s transgender community celebrated on Thursday as the state’s historic gender reforms came into effect.
The new reforms allow trans Tasmanians to amend gender markers on birth certificates without surgery or remove them altogether. New anti-discrimination provisions also came into effect in the state.
Advocates say the gender reforms are the most advanced in Australia and among the best in the world.
Roen Meijers, who identifies as non-binary, was the third to amend their birth certificate at the registry office on Thursday.
“I actually didn’t expect it to be as emotional as it was, it was a very powerful moment,” they told The Mercury.
“Up until now every time I’ve had to fill out a form or had to argue with the government system.
“I’ve had to fight for recognition of who I am. Some of the time that just hasn’t been possible because I haven’t been able to prove that that’s who I am.
“But now with my new birth certificate, it’ll just be so much easier for me to go through systems.
“I won’t have to argue about it I can just get on with my life like everyone else.”
‘A new day’ for transgender community in Tasmania
Tasmanian trans rights advocate Martine Delaney said “a new day has dawned” for the trans and gender diverse community.
“Finally, we will have the same protections and recognition as other Tasmanians,” Delaney said.
“Now all transgender and gender diverse Tasmanians can have their true identity recognised.
“Not just those wealthy enough to have surgery or those forced to get divorced.”
“The clear message is that our Parliament can legislate for all Tasmanians, not just the majority or the privileged.”
Delaney said staff at the Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages gallantly battled plumbing issues to ensure the first day of birth certificate amendments went smoothly.
Staff also wore lanyards in the colours of the transgender flag (blue, white and pink) to show their support for the new reforms.
Delaney urged all other Australian states and territories to follow Tasmania’s lead toward a more inclusive and equal society for everyone, regardless of gender identity.
Late last month similar laws also passed the Victorian parliament, but unfortunately Queensland is lagging behind.
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