149 people apply for gender recognition under new law

Four teenagers among those granted permission to register as different gender

Dr Lydia Foy fought for more than two decades to have her chosen gender recognised. She has lived as a woman since 1991. Photograph: Frank Miller/The Irish Times

Dr Lydia Foy fought for more than two decades to have her chosen gender recognised. She has lived as a woman since 1991. Photograph: Frank Miller/The Irish Times

 

A total of 149 gender recognition certificates were issued in the first nine months following the implementation of the Gender Recognition Act last year, according to the first annual report of the new law.

Of these, four teenagers aged 16 and 17 years old were granted permission to register as a different gender following a court order in accordance with the legislation.

The first annual report of the Gender Recognition Act 2015 was published on Sunday with information on how the Act affects people looking for legal recognition by the State of their preferred gender.

Of the 149 people who applied for gender recognition certificates in the nine months from September 2015 to June 2016, 100 were subsequently registered on the Register of Gender Recognition. Some 12 passports were also issued by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade to people who have received gender recognition certificates, including three passports for teenagers under 18 years of age.

The legislation, which allows people to apply for a birth certificate to reflect their preferred gender, was introduced in September 2015. The new law allows over-18s to apply for a Gender Recognition Certificate from the Department of Social Protection and means the person’s preferred gender is fully recognised by the State for all purposes, including in dealings with public bodies.

The person can obtain a new birth certificate from the Register of Gender Recognition in the General Register Office, provided their birth is originally registered in Ireland. The new certificate shows the preferred gender and new names of the person, if a name is changed.

Under section 38 of the Act, a holder of a gender recognition certificate can apply to the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade for a passport in the name and gender specified on their certificate.

The report’s release on Sunday coincided with International Transgender Day of Remembrance which is held in memory of people who have died as a result as violence towards the trans community.

Ireland became the fourth country to allow transgender people to legally change their gender without surgery and other medical interventions with the implementation of the new law last year.