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Manitoba no longer requires surgery to change gender on birth documents!

The Province of Manitoba issued this wonderful news today.
Changes that take effect Feb. 1 through the Vital Statistics Agency (VSA) will allow a change to the sex designation on Manitoba birth registrations and certificates without requiring proof of surgery, Tourism, Culture, Heritage, Sport and Consumer Protection Minister Ron Lemieux announced today.

“This is a very sensitive and personal issue for transgendered Manitobans seeking to change their identity documents, and we want to make the process as respectful and fair as possible,” Minister Lemieux said.  “I’m proud that Manitoba is taking these important steps to make this process more fair and respectful, and align with human rights codes legislation.”

Effective Feb. 1, Manitoba will no longer require proof of transsexual surgery for transgendered individuals to change their sex designation on VSA birth documents.  Following consultations with stakeholder groups and health-care professionals, it was determined that applicants could provide a statutory declaration and a supporting letter from a health-care professional.  This approach respects Manitoba’s Human Rights Code, provides credible evidence to maintain the integrity of Manitoba birth certificates and meet the needs of other identity document issuers such as a driver’s licence and passport, the minister said.

“We are pleased to see the province take this important step toward easing the documentation process for those wishing to change their sex marker,” said Mike Tutthill, executive director, Rainbow Resource Centre.  “Anyone changing their gender identity has much on their mind and we truly appreciate the province listening to the concerns of individuals.  It’s a great relief to have the official paperwork portion made more user-friendly.”

“This is an important legislative change that ensures we are not requiring people to undergo surgery in order to access appropriate identification documents,” said Dr. Ian Whetter, Trans Health program, Klinic Community Health Centre.  “Having a sex marker on one’s identification that is mismatched with one’s appearance regularly puts transgender people at risk of mistreatment.  This process is a key step in supporting the safety of transgender individuals.”

The Vital Statistics Agency will continue to work on additional amendments, such as a change of sex designation certificate for Canadian citizens not born in Manitoba, the minister said.

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