Nova Scotia

Nova Scotia to allow gender change on birth certificates

The governing Liberals are following through on their promise to make it easier for Nova Scotians who want to change the sex designation on their birth certificates.

Transgender Nova Scotians can make change without gender re-assignment surgery

Jessica Durling lobbied for the province to change legislation surrounding gender on birth certificates. (CBC)

The governing Liberals are following through on their promise to make it easier for Nova Scotians who want to change the sex designation on their birth certificates.

Service Nova Scotia Minister Mark Furey tabled a bill on Wednesday allowing the change to happen without a person first needing gender re-assignment surgery.

About five Nova Scotians get the surgery each year, and the government expects 40 to 50 people might want to change the sex designation on their birth certificates.        

Jessica Durling is keen to change the male designation on her birth certificate to female. And she thinks other transgender Nova Scotians are just as eager.       

She says carrying identification with a sex designation that is not the one you're comfortable with can lead to some awkward situations.

"I had one male friend who had the F on his birth certificate and went to a club one night and they assumed it was his sister's ID so they wouldn't let him in," Durling said. "So definitely it'll open a lot of doors for trans-Nova Scotians to not live in fear of being outed."

The move will make Nova Scotia the fifth province in the country to relax the rules.

Durling lobbied for the change last fall and is glad the government is following through.

The proposed law also adds social workers to the list of those who can provide supporting letters to back up the demand for any sex change designation. 

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