In the 21.5-year period between January 1993 and June 2014, 730 people have officially changed sex in Belgium, said the Institute for Sexual Equality on Thursday. A third of these were born male but wanted to be female on their official documents, vice versa for the remaining third. 2014 has seen a sharp rise in the number of female to male changes among under 25s, says the Institute: a rise of 39% between June 2013 and June 2014, in comparison to an average increase of 13% in other age groups. Under 25s are now the only age group in which female to male changes in female to male have overtaken its counterpart.
This new distribution impacts significantly the overall average age at which men and women go in for an official sex change: 33 years old for women becoming men and 40 for men becoming women. “Since the 2007 Act (which made change sexes an administrative formality) took effect, each year on average 29 men and 17 women have chosen to change their sex on paper,” says the Institute for Sexual Equality.
On Transgender Remembrance Day, today, November 20th, an annual remembrance day for annually dedicated to transgender people killed because of their sexual identity, the Institute also wants to draw attention to the difficulties and injustices these people still face today. “It happens here, too”, said the Institute. “Transgender people regularly face discrimination and violence in Belgium.” The Institute is calling for a new action plan by the government to fight discrimination against the transgender community.