Global Transgender Rights Movements
By admin June 21, 2015

transrightsTransgender rights have always been on the outskirts of policy and decision making. This is not only because getting an accurate population count is difficult, but because they make up around 0.3% of the population. For decades this minority has been subject to discrimination & violence as many LGBT movements and their leaders are generally targets of hate crimes in many countries. This was the case in Honduras where Transgender Human Rights Activist Francela Mendez Rodrigues was attacked in June.

Nevertheless, recent gains in gay rights and the rise of transgender icons like Caitlyn Jenner, who graced the cover of Vanity Fair, have created greater awareness and pushed transgender people and their rights to the forefront of political and public debate. In a country where abortion remains illegal – except in the case of rape & endangerment to the woman’s life – and where same sex couples cannot adopt, Colombia has become a leader on trans-identity laws. In early June this year the Colombian government said that it would drop requirements that forced trans people to seek medical or court approval to change their gender. Instead they can simply go to a notary and sign a legal document. Malta, Argentina and Denmark have also allowed transgender people to change their sex on government issued identifications without getting medical approval first. Ireland is set to do the same by the end of June 2015.

In contrast some see the US as lagging behind other countries. Although laws vary from state to state, most (if not all) require some form of medical approval for a transgender person to self-declare their sex on government issued IDs. Some states even require sex reassignment surgery before they allow people to update their gender on legal documents. Kansas, Idaho and Tennessee will not issue changes to sex listed on birth certificates.

Although most insurance companies in the US will not cover treatments for sex changes as they are labelled as cosmetic or experimental, attitudes are beginning to change. Medicare has lifted a ban on covering such surgery and a number of states have begun to cover Medicaid patients also. The US army & the air force have also made it increasingly difficulty to discharge transgender soldiers although they are still not allowed to openly serve in the armed forces.

Despite all the recent momentum Kris Hayashi of the Transgender Law Center says ‘’most of the transgender community is still struggling. Discrimination still makes transgender people more likely to be unemployed, poor and prone to drug abuse and suicide. Even though violence against gay people is declining, attacks on transgender people is on the rise.”

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Thanks for sharing !

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