Montreal

50 trans teens in Quebec change gender designation since adoption of new bill

Fifty teenagers in the province of Quebec have officially changed their names and gender designations in the four months since the National Assembly adopted a bill to help transgender minors.

Bill 103 was adopted in June, allowing minors as young as 14 to legally change name, gender designation

'It's incredible how much relief it brings,' says David James Lazure, 14, who changed his name and gender designation under the new Quebec law. (Radio-Canada)

Fifty teenagers in the province of Quebec have officially changed their names and gender designations in the four months since the National Assembly adopted a bill to help transgender minors.

Bill 103, which became law in June, amended the Civil Code to allow transgender youths aged 14 or over to make their own decisions regarding their identity.

Before the law was passed, an individual as young as 14 had the right to change names but had to be at last 18 to change gender designation.

David James Lazure, 14, was one of the teens who changed name and gender.

"It's incredible how much relief it brings," Lazure said.

Lazure was born a girl but always identified as a boy.

Last May, he spoke publicly about being forced to leave his school in McMasterville. Que., after school officials refused to recognize his gender identity.

"Being able to have my true identity now, with my gender and name changes, it makes school stress-free. I don't have to fear being called by my former name or being called a girl," Lazure said.

Until he was able to legally change his name, Lazure's birth name was on the class list, meaning teachers would call out the female name he was given at birth.

His mother, Odelle Plante, helped push for the legislative changes.

"This recognition makes all the difference. Now, at school, teachers don't make the mistake anymore because his permanent code and name have all been changed," she said.

The federal government has also tabled legislation to guarantee legal and human rights protection for transgender people.

With files from CBC reporter Ryan Hicks

now