Argentine Government Issues New ID to Transgender Child

Last year, Care2′s Steve Williams reported on Argentina’s landmark Gender Identity Law, which allows the country’s citizens to easily legally change the gender listed on their state ID cards. Now, in another victory for LGBT rights, the Argentinian government has decided to grant a new ID for Lulu, a six-year-old transgender girl who has identified as female since she began speaking as a toddler.

It’s hard to overstate what a big deal this is. In many countries (including parts of the United States), trans citizens must go through a lengthy legal and medical process in order to change their identification. Many jurisdictions won’t allow a change at all, even if a person has changed their name and lives full-time as the gender they identify with.

This has far-reaching effects for the trans community — it essentially forces poor trans people to be officially “out,” whether they want to be or not. It opens them up to harassment from law enforcement, difficulty verifying their identity when flying, and can easily open trans people up to employment discrimination. It can even prevent trans people from participating in the political process in states with strict voter ID laws.

While it’s a little early for Lulu to worry too much about these particular problems, she does face other challenges, particularly as she enters school. The Argentinian Children, Youth, and Family Secretary decided that she wasn’t too young to decide the name and gender she’d like to be listed on her identification.

There’s plenty of evidence to suggest that LGBT children are fully capable of recognizing their gender identity and sexual orientation early in life, and that the sooner they’re able to come out, the better-adjusted they are as teens and adults. That’s no small matter for the transgender community, which studies have shown is at a 41% risk of attempted suicide due to the extreme discrimination and misunderstanding they face in daily life.

While some may worry that Lulu is too young to decide how she identifies, the beauty of this law is that people can change their ID relatively easily. So if at any point a transgender child decides they don’t really want to live as the sex they’ve previously identified as, it will be easy to change the paperwork back. Trans children are typically not given any irreversible surgery or hormone treatments until they are well into their teens, when they are able to make fully informed decisions about their medical care.

It’s great to see Argentina taking proactive steps to respect and protect trans youth. Hopefully, other countries like the United States will follow their lead.

Photo credit: Thinkstock

54 comments

Natasha Salgado
natasha salgado2 years ago

Thank you Argentina 4 your fine example of respect and compassion...but mostly 4 doing the right thing!

BMutiny TCorporationsEvil

Argentina in this sets a WONDERFUL example for ALL countries.
Why such a Big Deal out of the Gender you put on a Form?
Gosh, is this a Magic Word or something?!?
Zappo, it invokes Supernatural Powers of Evil, maybe? if it's not the same as the Gender of your Genitals?
What SUPERSTITIOUS NONSENSE!
If just putting a preferred word on a form, makes life a lot easier and smoother for Transsexuals...
WHAT BUSINESS IS IT OF ANYONE ELSE'S???
An I.D., a Passport, a Voter Registration, a Wedding Certificate, etc. etc....
I really think people are caught up in MEDIEVAL RELIGIOUS DOGMA if they worry about such things...
I'm looking forward to the day when EVERY COUNTRY IN THE WORLD has a similar law...

Sandra S.
Sandra S.2 years ago

Bill C.

Your experience and training is not with pediatric patients. The successful treatment of gender dysphoria in children (not tomboys) is not a controversial subject in medicine. Gender identity is something that is not easily changed, but you could, likely, change a child's behaviour to make them hide the gender they know inside is real and show the gender their genitals comply with. This behaviour may cause lots of trauma, and other symptoms, but lots of other children have gone through it, and there are many, many case studies of children whose parents didn't know any better than to enforce strict gender roles conforming with sex.

What harm is it doing to this Argentinian girl to live as her identified sex? The worst thing that might happen is that her puberty of testosterone surge is delayed by hormone blockers until she is old enough to know whether she wants to have estrogen replacement therapy, at about 16 years or so. Many transgender children, I gather, don't remain of the same identification in adulthood, so that's why nothing permanent is done before an age of maturity is gained.

Sue Matheson
Sue Matheson2 years ago

thanks

Krish Here For Good
Past Member 2 years ago

thx

Patricia H.
Patricia H.2 years ago

thanks for sharing

Lynn C.
Lynn C.2 years ago

ty

judith sanders
judith sanders2 years ago

@Bill C. - Even the most harsh "behavior modification" has proved unable to change the gender identification of children. That's why civilized nations stopped doing genital "corrective" surgery on infants and toddlers except to correct urination problems. Gender identification starts well before puberty, as it is part of the way our brains develop. Please read the Wikipedia article on "gender disphoria," or "gender identity disorder" for a basic intro to this condition. Overwhelmingly, it is of genetic origin. Personally, I hope we will stop thinking of this condition as a disorder, as it is societal ignorance that causes problems for the child, much more than the physical characteristics. Whether it's a redheaded kid, or a kid that dresses differently than their genitalia would suggest, teachers and parents need to teach kids that people come in thousands of shapes, colors, and styles, and they cannot harass anyone for being different.

Bill C.
Bill C.2 years ago

Many here need to take a child development course.

The government chose to make an adults life easier not a child's, any parent or manipulative social setting can make any child anything thy wish when they get to start at day 1,

I could use Stockholm syndrome and change Matt P from a Pagan Vegan to a Baptist Pork puller in a very short time (even as an adult) via behavior mod skills.

Do not kid yourself, a toddler who is just learning to speak does not have formed gender ID and the fact all Tom Boys are not lesbians nor all boys who love dance are gay is a good indicator.

Lu Lu is a parental social product who when puberty is reached may or may not feel the assigned gender is correct.

Ingo Schreiner
Ingo Schreiner2 years ago

thanks