Trans Australians Win New Legal Recognition


Two trans men from Australia had their right to identity as men without completing gender change surgery affirmed by the country’s High Court on Thursday.

The pair, names not disclosed, were denied certification of their gender change by the Western Australia state Gender Reassignment Board  because while they both have undergone surgery to remove their breasts they have not undergone complete genital surgery.

However the pair challenged that decision in court and, in a  precedent-setting ruling, the High Court returned a decision in their favor.

From The Washington Post:

Transgender and intersex organizations praised the High Court’s ruling as a precedent that would spare others from having to undergo medically unnecessary surgery to have their chosen gender recognized.


The court ruled that characteristics that identify a person as male or female are “confined to external physical characteristics that are socially recognizable.” This recognition does not require knowledge of a person’s sexual organs, the court said.

Trans rights groups in Australia have welcomed the decision as a humanizing step forward in the treatment of trans citizens.

From Pink News:

Aram Hosie of the Western Australia Gender Project said that the ruling would help prevent discrimination and harassment of trans people.

“Previously transsexual people in Western Australia, as in other parts of the country, have been unable to legally amend their sex without invasive, medically unnecessary surgeries that may be unwanted, impractical or unattainable,” Hosie told the Star Observer.

“This has resulted in difficulties in proving one’s identity on essential documentation, a loss of privacy, and the risk of exposure to discrimination, harassment and sometimes even violence.”

[Read more at Pink News.]

Australia’s administration recently announced that it will be changing passports to add a category “x” to the current male and female gender markers for those who feel they do not fit the gender binary. You can read more on that here.

Related Reading:

NYFD Welcomes City’s First Trans Firefighter

Fed Prisons Change ‘Freeze Frame’ Trans Medical Policy

Athlete Kye Allums – LGBT History Month Day 1

Image used under the Creative Commons Attribution License with thanks to wamphyri.


Kathy C.

Great step forward!

K s Goh
KS Goh6 years ago

Thanks for the article.

Amy Slattery
Amy Slattery6 years ago

A step foward. Good news!

Beth M.
Beth M6 years ago

Wonderful news!

Robert O.
Robert O6 years ago

Thanks Steve.

Robert O.
Robert O6 years ago

Thanks Steve.

Hege Torset
Hege Torset6 years ago

cool, thanks

Bob P.

good news thanks

Tim Cheung
Tim C6 years ago


Elizabeth Brawn
Elizabeth Brawn6 years ago

thank you this good news