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This is a question that has been bothering me for some time. For a transsexual at what point in the transition process is it enough to get their identification changed? I have my opinion but I’ll get to that shortly.

In at least one province all it takes is a letter from your doctor indicating that a change in gender marker is appropriate to get the driver’s licence changed. This is a relatively simple process. Sadly, it’s not the same in all provinces. Getting the birth certificate changed should be easier as well.

To my knowledge in order to get the gender marker on your birth certificate from any Canadian province changed one needs the sexual reassignment surgery (SRS), an affidavit from the surgeon and another affidavit from another doctor confirming the surgery took place.

But what about those who can’t afford the full surgery? Not all provinces pay for it as part of the provincial medical care. Some will only go as far as paying for an orchiectomy (removal of the testicles) for trans-women and the rest of the provinces will not pay for any surgery at all for transsexuals. And then there are those who can’t, for medical reasons, ever have the surgery. What about them? Does this mean that they can never have correct identification? The link below suggests that it’s possible with an orchiectomy in one province which is a simple and less expensive procedure compared to SRS.

I know that in the US some states all that is needed is an orchiectomy to get the gender marker changed on the birth certificate. It doesn’t matter if the woman has SRS or an orchiectomy a court order is also required. But then there are some states where you can’t get your birth certificate changed at all. It will list what sex you were assigned at birth and that’s it.

I’m not sure of all the facts but I do have a strong opinion on this. The gender markers should be changed the moment there is a diagnosis of Gender Identity Disorder. That should be all that is needed. Really, do you think we’re tying to fool anyone? If you do it points to one of the many misconceptions about transsexuals and that is we’re supposedly trying to fool people for some reason. For trans-women the biggest misconception is we’re trying to fool straight men into having sex with us. No, this is a myth, we’re just women and just want to live our lives as such. Is that such a bad thing?

In this day-and-age we need identification for just about anything and that identification has to be correct. We can’t live our lives comfortably as women when there is a big M on our ID. All I’m asking is that some mechanism be put in place where we get our identification changed earlier so we can live more comfortable lives.

Teresa

P.S. There may be some confusion as to the name of the surgery. I’ve been calling it SRS or sexual reassignment surgery but it’s also known as gender reassignment surgery (GRS) and gender corrective surgery (GCS). I’ve been using SRS because it is the sex on my identification I wanted changed.

Links:

Transgender person seeks provincial ID change