Awareness days

Transgender Day of Visibility

31. March 2023

Reading time: approx. 2 minutes

Transfahne auf der CSD Demo 2019
Content warning
This article contains descriptions of experiences of violence and discrimination. These topics can trigger negative reactions in some people. Please be careful if this is the case for you!

Today is the “Transgender Day of Visibility” for trans* people.

When the gender determined on the basis of external sexual characteristics does not correspond to the person’s self-perceived gender, this is referred to as trans*, transgender or transidentity. Even if the terms are relatively new, trans* people have always existed. The earliest evidence of people who fully or partially adopted a different gender identity to the one they were assigned dates back to antiquity. It was not until the 20th century that trans identity was scientifically analysed.

In the meantime, research in this field was severely set back. One reason for this was the National Socialists’ seizure of power during the Second World War. In recent decades, transidentity has once again been the subject of more intensive scientific and social debate.

In 1981, the Transsexuals Act (TSG) came into force in Germany. This still regulates the conditions under which a person’s self-perceived gender is legally recognised. In recent decades, the provisions of the TSG have repeatedly been declared unconstitutional. For example, trans people still had to undergo sterilisation until 2009, and until 2011 it was assumed that the external sexual characteristics would be adjusted by surgery.

These and other extreme encroachments on the physical and mental integrity of trans* people by the law are unacceptable for an enlightened society. The current government has stipulated in its coalition agreement that it wants to replace the TSG with a “self-determination law”. This is intended to create a humane legal framework so that people’s self-perceived gender is officially recognised. An initial draft bill has now been presented. Among other things, it contains regulations that should make it much easier for trans* people to change their first name and gender entry. Gender reassignment surgery, such as hormone therapy or operations, will not be prescribed. Those affected can continue to decide on these interventions themselves together with their doctors.

In addition to state discrimination, trans people are usually also exposed to social discrimination. Various studies from different countries show that trans* people suffer from an increased suicide rate. This is attributed, among other things, to bullying and discrimination, which affect trans young people significantly more often.

Finally, we would like to give you a few follow recommendations if you would like to find out more about this topic:

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