Norway’s health minister has pledged to push through laws to allow transgender people to change their gender in the country’s population register without being castrated or otherwise sterilized.
“I am clear that the present system is not acceptable,” Bent Høie told the country’s national broadcaster NRK. “The system we have in Norway today in this area is very poorly conceived.”
John Jeanette Solstad Remø, a 65-year-old transgender woman who has been campaigning to be allowed to change her legal gender, told The Local that it was “extremely important” to her that Høie keeps his word and drives a change in the law through.
“I’m very humiliated by this and it hurts my integrity,” she said. “Because on my passport it says M, so everywhere I go, they recognize me as a women until they see my papers. It would be very cheap for the government. Just give me a new passport. I’ll pay for it myself.”
She said that many transgender women, preferred, like her, not to undergo a sex-change operation.
“It’s not good for my body, I’m quite sure, because I’ve seen many people who’ve had problems,” she said. “And I’d like to keep my sexuality the way it is.”
“You have to be mentally ill to have that operation, and I would also have to be castrated, because otherwise the government would not give me this possibility.”
Patricia Kaatee, a political advisor to Amnesty Norway met Høie on Wednesday to deliver a petition for the law to be changed to allow Remø to take the legal gender she chose.
“The only requirement that should be needed to change gender is one’s own experience of gender identity, not a diagnosis or sterilization. It is a basic human right for people to express their own identity, even in official documents,” she said.
Høie said that any new policy would follow the recommendations of the expert committee established by the right-wing coalition to look into the laws on changing gender.
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