"Get Your Gavel Out of My Pants": Replacing the Medical and Legal Scrutiny of Trans Bodies with Self-Identification as a Basis for Changing Sex Markers on Birth Certificates
Section 28 of the Births, Deaths, Marriages, and Relationships Registration Act 1995 allows people to apply to the Family Court to change the sex marker on their birth certificate. This essay argues that this provision is out-dated and does not serve the needs of the trans community. It is based on the medical model of sex, and requires medical evidence that the applicant’s body conforms sufficiently to that of the “nominated sex”. This essay suggests a reform based on the self-identification model, which exists in Argentina for birth certificates, and in New Zealand for passports and drivers’ licences. Such a reform of s 28 would bring birth certificates in line with these other documents, leading to more consistency and increased respect for the human rights of trans people.