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Lukas Berredo - Support Group for Trans Men - Chile

in CHILE, 01/02/2010

V ILGA-LAC conference, Brazil. GAHT is the acronym of Support Group for Trans Men. We work on two principal aspects, one is external, the other internal. The internal one is intended to guide trans men on their options if they wish to follow a process of sexual reassignment and to advise them on other possible options. They can also ask us to help them from a legal point of view for a change of name and sex if they wish. That remains very difficult in Chile, but it is possible.

GAHT is the acronym of Support Group for Trans Men. We work on two principal aspects, one is external, the other internal. The internal one is intended to guide trans men on their options if they wish to follow a process of sexual reassignment and to advise them on other possible options. They can also ask us to help them from a legal point of view for a change of name and sex if they wish. That remains very difficult in Chile, but it is possible. In addition, on the external level, we strive to inform society on the topic, to make it more visible because transexuality is very stigmatized in general: we hold discussions in universities, in the institutes… In high schools, this has not been possible yet; in government institutions, we’ ve already succeeded to organise workshops in the police force, for them to know more about this reality in order to disminish discrimination. In Chile, the situation is currently rather complicated, the government does not know about this reality and if it knows about it, pretends not to see it. To change name or of sex, one must currently pass by a legal process which can very, very long and whose final decision depends on the judge.

Since there is no people, nor legislation who mention the subject, one cannot question the “Sex” on birth certificates. Therefore, this is left to the appreciation of the judge. It is completely subjective, on a case-by-case basis. For surgeries and hormonal change, it is also rather complicated because the health system does not have rules on this subject, and one depends on the decision of the doctor. This is not prohibited, but it is not allowed either. It simply is not mentioned: one is in front of a legal vacuum. Until now, we depend on pure favours, we must practically beg for crumbs of assistance. That should not be like that. One should be able to change public policies so that they get a national level. So we try to reach out to the government to try to sensitize officials so they act on this topic.
 

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