As of August the 1st Trans people in Bolivia over 18 can change their name and gender on all public and private documents. The government signed into law this much needed. gender identity legislation.
“This is democracy. For that reason, I feel happy to be able to sign this law” Vice President Alvaro Garcia Linera on Saturday said.
“They will not disappear if we ignore or discriminate against them. What has happened till now is that this group has become visible and has claimed its rights. Today the transsexual and transgender group is enriching Bolivia’s democracy,” Linera said.
“Our transgender and transsexual brothers and sisters have suffered, but now with this law we have taken a step forward and we will continue to do this, because we are equal in the eyes of the law,” Bolivian Justice Minister Virginia Velasco said.
Unfortunately trans people still need to undergo psychological evaluation and obtain a certificate before being able to change their identity. This is the outdated system used by most countries as of date.
Ireland and Norway are two of four countries that have recently legalized a new approach to this, allowing people to self declare their identity without any evidence or examination required. This ethical new approach recognizes that trans people have just as much right to be recognized without gate-keeping as anyone else.
The UK is in the process of seeing how this new approach goes to consider if it wishes to adopt the method. Last year an extensive inquiry into trans issues was completed which recommended this measure. The inquiry had lots of important recommendations, although unfortunately 90% of the government response was “more evidence needed”, which is unacceptable, we need action now, not kicking issues into the grass hoping they go away.
Chile and Ecuador have also moved closer to recognizing the existence of trans people. Ecuador reformed their gender identity law allowing people to change their gender on government ID’s. Chile has moved closer to allowing people to change gender without the approval of a judge, the Senate’s Human Rights Commission approved a provision for a bill that, if passed, would let unmarried adults over the age of 18 change their names and sex through the Civil Registry.