On the 22d March, 2016 Tomas Vytautas Raskevičius, Policy Coordinator (Human Rights) of the National LGBT* rights organization LGL, participated in a Lithuanian TV Show “It is What it is” (Lith. Yra kaip yra) about the situation of transgender persons in Lithuania.
During the TV show LGL’s Policy Coordinator (Human Rights) stressed the need to create quick, transparent and accessible legal gender recognition procedure in Lithuania, encompassing not only the possibility of changing one’s identity documents, but also the provision of appropriate health care services tailored to the specific needs of transgender individuals.
At the moment Lithuania is the only member state within the framework of the Council of Europe, which does not provide for either de facto or de jure procedure of gender reassignment. In order to change one’s identity documents, transgender people are forced to undergo the full gender reassignment procedure, including, inter alia, the ultimate gender reassignment surgery. The fact that not all transgender people want to change their gender surgically is being ignored. However, the corresponding identity documents are necessary for all transgender individuals with the view of leading social life free of discrimination, harassment and violence.
Specific examples of discrimination affecting transgender persons in Lithuania, i.e. harassment in the field of employment or direct discrimination in service sector, were given during the TV show, featuring remarks made by transgender indivuduals Oskaras, who also spoke about his personal experience’s in LGL’s video for a social campaign “#TRANS_LT”, and Kristina. The TV show made it clear once again that transgender individuals remain to be one of the most socially vulnerable and discriminated social groups in Lithuania.