Proof of surgery no longer required to officially change gender in Manitoba

New legislation is about to make it easier for Manitobans to change the sex designation on birth documents — and the policy comes as a "great relief," to those in the transgender community.

The legislation comes into effect beginning in February

New legislation in Manitoba, which will make it easier for transgender individuals to change the sex designation on their birth documents, comes as a "great relief," to the community. (Vancouver Park Board)

New legislation is about to make it easier for Manitobans to change their sex designation on birth documents — a development that comes as a "great relief," to those in the transgender community.

As of Feb. 1, Manitoba will no longer require proof of transsexual surgery in order for someone to change the sex designation on Vital Statistics Agency (VSA) birth documents; that is, a birth certificate or birth registration.

"Anyone changing their gender identity has much on their mind and we truly appreciate the province listening to the concerns of individuals," said Mike Tutthill, executive director of the Rainbow Resource Centre, a space that provides support to the gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and two-spirited communities.

"It's a great relief to have the official paperwork portion made more user-friendly."

Following the new legislation, individuals will be able to change their sex designation if they can provide a statutory declaration and a supporting note from a health-care professional.

"This is a very sensitive and personal issue for transgendered Manitobans seeking to change their identity documents, and we want to make the process as respectful and fair as possible," said Tourism, Culture, Heritage, Sport and Consumer Protection Minister Ron Lemieux.

"I'm proud that Manitoba is taking these important steps to make this process more fair and respectful, and align with human rights codes legislation."

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.