Fri | Oct 23, 2020

Affirm identity of trans gender people

Published:Thursday | September 13, 2018 | 12:00 AM


Trans diverse community recognition is key to the development of their well-being as the legal recognition of their gender would advance self-representation and inclusion.

Legal gender recognition for trans people means the State giving official recognition to a trans person's gender identity. This would afford the community the ability to legally change their gender markers on public documents such as their passports, driver's licence, and national ID once it comes into effect.

Gender recognition goes beyond an administrative procedure. It is essential for trans persons to be able to live a life of dignity filled

with respect as it will strengthen non-discrimination and equality for all. It is imperative to note that members of the trans community are unable to find employment or access key services they need in the fulfilment of their basic needs.




For the trans community, a lack of legal gender recognition can be deadly, especially for those members of the community who are transitioning or who have transitioned. This opens them up to a number of challenges and restriction on freedom of movement when travelling, reporting incidents of abuse or harassment, and often results in acts of transphobia, discrimination, and violence.

With the National Identification System coming into effect shortly, I urge the Government to consider the trans community as citizens of the country and enact the process of legal recognition that would ensure that the ID reflects both gender and sex, or remove gender and sex from the card altogether.

Finally, I also recommend that gender-recognition legislation be drafted, using existing legislative frameworks from other Commonwealth countries as a guide to advance inclusivity and diversity of identities within the country.


Associate Director, TransWave Jamaica