Poland's track record on transgender rights just got a whole lot better

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With the recent passage of new legislation, Poland is poised to take a step forward when it comes to transgender rights.

The lower house of Poland's parliament, the Sejm, passed the Gender Accordance Act on Thursday, Pink News reports. The gender-recognition bill would allow for unmarried trans citizens to apply for a new birth certificate, and other forms of government-issued documentation, without having to undergo hormone replacement therapy or sex reassignment surgery (SRS) first.

"It is a huge victory for trans people in Poland," Wiktor Dynarski, President and Executive Director of Trans-Fuzja Foundation, said in a statement. "[Debate over the act marked] the first time that we actually heard Polish policymakers openly protecting bodily autonomy of trans people and recognizing that trans citizens need to have their dignity assured."


The act, introduced by MP Anna Grodzka—Poland's first openly trans member of parliament—still needs to be approved by the senate and signed by the president before it becomes law. Lalka Podobińska, Trans-Fuzja's Vice-President and Advocacy Office, said in the organization's statement that he is "optimistic" of the road ahead, given the majority win in the lower house.

Applicants who wish to change their legal gender would still need provide some form of supporting documentation from a medical professional, the Washington Blade reports, but removing the costly SRS or HRT requirements definitely improves quality of life.

Last week, Ireland passed a similar gender-recognition law that allows citizens to change their legal genders without medical or state intervention. In the U.S., there are 14 states that still require that applicants provide proof of SRS, along with a court order and an amended birth certificate, in order to change the gender marker on their driver’s license.

This image was removed due to legal reasons.

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