1,000 transgender people request name, sex change in Chile

Mumbai: Members of the LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender) participate in Queer Pride Parade in Mumbai on Feb. 2, 2019. (Photo: IANS)

Santiago, Dec 28: Some 1,000 transgender people in Chile have requested to update their names and sex on legal documents after a new gender identity law came into force in the country.

The law which came into force on Friday and signed by President Sebastian Pinera, means transgender people aged 14 or over can update identification documents to reflect their gender, reports Efe news.

Alessia Injoque, Oresident of the Fundacion Iguales (Equal Foundation) LGTBI collective said: “It is the first time that the state of Chile, through a law, recognizes and gives protection to the right to gender identity. “The most important thing is that with this the state recognizes that trans people exist.”

The law stipulates three types of procedures one for people aged between 14 and 18 years old, another for adults who are not married and a third for adults who are married, the Foundation said.

The Justice Ministry said it has already received 921 applications from across Chile and 136 hearings had already been scheduled. Justice Minister Hernnn Larrain said the procedure was “simple and free of charge”. To apply for a name and sex change the applicant must request an appointment for a special hearing.

Applicants need two witnesses at the hearing and will be issued with new identity documents within 45 days.