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Important judicial ruling

in CHILE, 19/01/2010

Trans Men Organization in Chile helps transgender man change name and sex on legal documents without undergoing genital surgery.

After eight months, a 35 year old Chilean transgender man won the right in court to change his name and sex on legal documents without having to undergo genital reconstruction surgery as part of his sex reassignment process.

Now, A. O. B. P., who was born biologically female, will officially be called by his male name, which he has been using since adolescence. The ruling was released yesterday by Lukas Berredo, the general coordinator of the Trans Men Support Group (Grupo de Apoyo a Hombres Trans - GAHT), a nonprofit organization that provides free medical and legal support services to transgender men and helps create awareness by informing and educating society about being transsexual.

The favorable sentence proves that the Rectification Request, document written by GAHT is very effective. Due to the precarious economic conditions of most transsexuals, GAHT has performed intensive research on international jurisprudence to help those who cannot afford a lawyer.

At birth, A. O. B. P. was assigned a female name and gender, but from an early age, his gender and sexual identity has been male. In 2007, A. O. B. P. began his sex reassignment process. He started taking the hormone testosterone, had chest reconstruction surgery and a hysterectomy (removal of the ovaries and uterus). A. O. B. P. has had significant changes in his appearance, making people see him as the man he always has been, and intensifying the inconsistency in his papers.

In Chile, the Law authorizes the rectification of the name on the birth certificate, but makes no reference to the gender or sex of the person, leaving the verdict at the mercy of the judge handling the case.

"The sex of a person is not in his or her genitals. Is the penis the sole determinant in being a man? Do men who suffer from an accident and lose their members, also lose their manhood? In the same way, the absence of surgical intervention and genital reconstruction should not exclude the possibility of changing legal name and sex", says Lukas Berredo.

In that sense, Berredo stated that, "Our country must have a specific legislation that gives legal coverage and security to transgender and transsexual people, changing the registration of name and sex that are in conflict with their identity, without being subjected to genital surgery”.

As never before done, GAHT has made this document available to the public on its website www.gaht.cl. "It's a work free for use, while not used for commercial purposes. It was done freely, to be used freely," reports Berredo.

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