This is signal boosting for a friend who is currently filing a lawsuit against the Quebec Department of Civil Status for wanting him to be sterilized in order to access a legal change of gender. Check out his website here.
I am a transsexual man who has been wrangling with the Registrar of Civil Status of Quebec over my legal sex designation for the past few months. There are many serious problems with this department, including arbitrary/inconsistent decisions due to bureaucrats interpreting articles 71 and 58 of the Quebec Civil Code however they want – therefore getting to decide what consists an appropriate sex change for trans- people, getting to decide whether to add a first name to a birth certificate instead of granting an actual change of name to trans people, general ignorance about trans issues and surgeries, unwillingness to dialogue with the community and medical professionals, hostile attitudes towards trans people from some bureaucrats, long wait times, barriers for non-citizens, and more. It’s a serious nightmare.
I have undergone a bilateral mastectomy, am on hormones and have paperwork attesting that I meet the criteria for GID – I submitted all of that info to the department. I was initially refused a sex change on the grounds of not having undergone phalloplasty. I contested this in writing because it has already been established that they cannot ask it as a prerequisite. They then revised their decision to state that I could not be granted a sex change because I had not undergone a total hysterectomy – as I type this, it is mandatory for trans people to be surgically sterile to be granted a change of sex in Quebec.
I am now going to court to challenge the constitutionality of the Civil Code article that dictates what conditions must be met to access a change of sex. While this legislation makes no difference to the Registrar of Civil Status, it hurts untold numbers of transsexual and transgendered Quebec citizens, forcing us to live as second class citizens and exposing us to great discrimination and violence. This legislation that makes surgical sterilization mandatory (it doesn’t take into account that some transsexual and transgendered do not wish, or are not able to undergo such surgeries) in order for us to be granted basic rights is literally a policy of eugenics – this is not hyperbole – and has no place in a province that values freedom and equality.
It is necessary that compulsory sterilization be abolished in order to comply with the Canada and Quebec Charters and to insure that trans people are granted their full citizenship. This is an unprecedented opportunity for Quebec to amend its Civil Code to ensure that it doesn’t contradict itself by protecting against unwanted medical treatment while simultaneously enforcing compulsory surgical treatment against a segment of the population.
This comes on the heels of the protest in Montreal last June calling for an overhaul of civil status rules as they apply to trans people.
As you can imagine, Elias is facing major legal costs as a result of this court battle, which if successful will make life easier for trans and gender-variant people throughout Quebec. Please, donate whatever you can (Paypal and credit card link) — even a few bucks will help. If you are gainfully employed, please consider giving more, as many trans and gender-variant people are perpetually underemployed and dealing with severe poverty, due to systemic discrimination of exactly this kind, and won’t be able to afford as much. And please spread the word in your networks.
My friends and loved ones and I thank you!