New Legal Rights for Transgender People

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Transgender people can now get official documents stating their true sexual identities without having sex-change surgery or medical treatment. And earlier this year, the Quebec Superior Court ruled that transgender parents should have the same rights as other parents when it comes to children's living arrangements.

 

One Simple Step

The rules that became law on October 1, 2015, simplify the process to change the gender and name recorded in official documents, such as birth certificates, marriage or civil union certificates and the birth certificates of children. But you can’t use the simplified process to change your family name.

 

Requirements

To ask for a change in the gender and name recorded in official documents, you must be 18 years or older, a Canadian citizen and living in Quebec for more than a year.

People born in Quebec but no longer living there can also ask to change the gender recorded in official documents if they prove that the country or province where they live doesn’t allow the change.

To ask for the change, you must provide some documents, including these ones: 

  • your official written statement that the change you’re asking for corresponds to your true sexual identity
  • an official written statement of someone 18 years or older stating that he or she has known you for at least one year and that you understand the serious nature of your request

 

Children's Living Arrangements: Another Step Forward

Last summer, the Quebec Superior Court granted a transgender parent joint custody of a child. “Joint custody” means the child lives part of the time with one parent and part of the time with the other parent.

The Court stated that both parents, no matter what their sexual identity, should have the most contact possible with their children. When both parents are equally able to take care of their children’s needs, joint custody can help a child accept a parent’s sex change and strengthen the parent-child relationship.

 

Discrimination and Violence: More Changes to Come?

A proposed federal law would give transgender and transsexual people added protection against discrimination and violence. The proposed law is not yet in force even though it’s been two years since the House of Commons approved it. The Senate hasn’t yet approved it.