Yesterday evening the French parliament adopted a legal gender recognition procedure which is well overdue. The procedure ends arbitrariness and medicalisation.
The lives of many trans people will be improved because sterilisation and proof of medical treatment are no longer requirements for persons to have their documents legally reflect who they are. However, this is a missed opportunity as the law is not based on self-determination and fails to give access to legal gender recognition for all trans minors.
“24 years ago the European Court for Human Rights proved that France was in the wrong for its unwillingness to enable the alteration of a trans person’s document. Indeed this law would have been considered progressive then. But a quarter of a century later trans people have all reasons not to be satisfied” TGEU Executive Director Julia Ehrt comments.
TGEU Steering Committee member Clémence Zamora-Cruz added “This procedure does not adopt full self-determination, and therefore continues to give judges a central role in determining and accepting the validity of an applicant’s gender identity. It is also particularly painful that young persons will continue to be barred from having their gender identity recognized in France.”
The requirements under the law to obtain a change of gender marker on the document are that an adult or emancipated minor needs to demonstrate an adequate combination of facts that prove that the reference to their gender in civil status does not match the one in which they are known. This can include publicly stating their gender identity; that one is known as having that gender identity amongst family, friends; and that one has already changed their name to match the requested gender.
 An emancipated minor is a minor who has been declared emancipated from parental authority by a judge and can decide in all areas of civil law like a person of majority. There are very few emancipated minors in France.