My name is Esther. I’m a writer, filmmaker and activist living in Meanjin (Brisbane).
Being trans and gender diverse in Queensland
Did you know that right now in Queensland, trans and gender diverse people can only have their birth certificates reflect their gender if they undergo gender-affirming surgery? Additionally, the certificates only allow for Male and Female options – failing to recognise anyone who doesn’t fit into the gender binary.
Not only does this requirement present immense social, economic, and access barriers – no person should be forced to undergo medical procedures as a requirement for recognition of who they are.
When I came out in 2015, the sheer number of services, government agencies and businesses I had to contact to update my details – all the while being misgendered and deadnamed the whole time – put a huge strain on my mental health.
Action for trans and gender diverse people
Queensland is the only Australian State or Territory that enforces this discriminatory requirement – when the process is burdensome enough. Updating your name and gender on identity documents is already a significant stressor for trans people – so often, we are dealing with the difficulties of undergoing medical and social transition at the same time.
I first launched this petition back in February of last year, with the help of my local MP. The suggestions were reasonable: Reform Queensland’s Births, Deaths and Marriages Registration Act, by removing the surgery requirement and giving options for non-binary people.
People power works – how you can help
The Queensland Attorney-General has promised to introduce a new bill that addresses these concerns. That’s why it’s so important that they know there is a groundswell of support for the human rights of LGBTQIA+ Queenslanders. Self-defined gender identity is one of the most basic aspects of self-determination, dignity and freedom.
These reforms would see the ID documents of trans and gender-diverse Queenslanders reflect their reality – something that should be the case for every human being. Take action by signing the petition.
Everyone has the right to live a life free from discrimination. We are all entitled to self-determination, dignity and freedom, regardless of who we love or how we identify. Take action and learn more about our LGBTQIA+ rights campaign.