As many transgender men as women changed their sex on their birth certificate in Belgium in 2019
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    As many transgender men as women changed their sex on their birth certificate in Belgium in 2019

    For the first time, the ratio is equal in Belgium. Credit: Flickr/Ted Eytan

    Just under 400 people have had the official mention of their sex on their birth certificate changed between January and September 2019 in Belgium, according to the Institute of Equality of Women and Men (IEFH).

    “For the first time, the ratio is equal: there are as many people changing the mention of their sex from female to male as there are changing it from male to female,” the institute said.

    The organisation announced the data on Tuesday evening, right before Transgender Remembrance day on 20 November, which is an international day to honour transgender people who were killed, directly or indirectly, because of their gender identity.

    Since 1 January 2018, medical intervention is no longer required to change the sex on a person’s birth certificate to match their gender identity. “The impact of the new legislation on the number of changes in the National Register is particularly significant. In 2019, the number of changes was five times higher than it was in 2016,” said the IEFH.

    The law getting rid of the medical certificate was passed in Belgium in 2017, and entered into force in 2018.

    In total, 2,193 people have changed the official mention of their sex on their birth certificate in Belgium. “Before the law was passed, the proportion of female-to-male and male-to-female changes remained stable for years, with about one-third of transgender men (people who were assigned female at birth, but identify as male) and two-thirds of transgender women (people who were assigned male at birth, but identify as female),” the institute said, based on their data. However, in 2019, it was a 50-50 ratio.

    About 33% of all the changes on birth certificates in Belgium were made by people under 25 years old. Almost half (47%) of all changes made in 2019 were also made by people under 25, according to IEFH figures.

    Maïthé Chini
    The Brussels Times