A legal complaint to end gender classification based on the sex assigned at birth filed by transgender and intersex activists has been accepted for review by a human rights tribunal in a Canadian province.
The Trans Alliance Society together with eight other trans and intersex people filed the complaint in British Columbia in order to bring an end to strict classifications and definitions of gender identity all together. While it is possible to change one’s sex on legal documents without proof of sex-reassignment surgery in certain Canadian provinces, the new battle is to prevent children from being boxed according to the gender they have been assigned by the medical establishment based on their sex.
“Birth certificates give false information about people and characterize them in a way that is actually wrong, that assumes to be right, and causes people … actual harm,” Morgane Oger, a transgender woman and chair of the Trans Alliance Society told the National Post. “It’s considered true and infallible when it isn’t.”
The current rigid gender binary — the distinction between male and female — violates intersex people’s personal rights in the way that doctors frequently perform corrective surgery on genitalia in order to align a person with one specific gender. The legal complaint hopes to end this medical practice.
The Trans Alliance Society has been under fire for failing to distinguish between gender and sex when it claims to end gender markers on identity documents which in fact only specify one’s sex.
In a blog post, Oger responded to the criticism saying, “I am legally a person whose gender is ‘woman’ and whose sexual designation is ‘FEMALE’ because in BC, the word ‘gender’ has been interpreted to be synonymous and usable in place of the word ‘sex’ in law since a Human Rights Tribunal ruling in 1999 determined it to be so.”
It appears that for activists to legally abolish the specification of one's sex on legal documents is seen as a strategic way to end gender classification all together.
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