June 01, 2023

Russia To Ban Gender Reassignment?


Russia To Ban Gender Reassignment?
Hand holding a trans rights flag. transarmyofficial, Instagram.

The Duma has drafted a law forbidding gender transition in Russia. The legislation focuses on prohibiting gender-affirming surgery but also bans gender changes in official documents, such as passports. This action is just the latest state-sponsored anti-LGBT action.

After the fall of the Soviet Union, anti-LGBT laws were loosened, but then the course reversed when Vladimi Putin became president in 2000. According to journalist Masha Gessen, who is non-binary, the Kremlin's goal has been "to establish Russia as 'the "family values capital' of the world." Laws were passed to take kids away from non-straight and transgender parents, label LGBT Russians as "foreign agents," and ban "LGBT propaganda." As well, homophobic groups have threatened and murdered activists, including advocate Yelena Grigorieva.

In 1997, Russian law allowed citizens to change their gender on national documents. In 2020, however, a law was proposed that reverted the stated sex of transgender people in their birth certificates to the one they were assigned at birth, but it did not pass. Today, to access gender-affirming care such as surgeries or hormone therapy, Russians must obtain a certificate from a doctor of "transsexualism." This word is both incorrect and stigmatizing in English and Russian

Access to gender-affirming care is vital since, according to the Sage Neuroscience Center, it lowers the risk of suicide by 75 percent and increases an individual's overall quality of life.

 

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