Countries with Transgender Recognition

Can you name all of the countries that permit a change in gender identity without the requirement of gender reassignment surgery?
Countries that have regional laws on recognition but not national laws do not count
In some cases, hormonal therapy is required
Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LGBT_rights_by_country_or_territory
Quiz by JWatson24
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Last updated: April 8, 2021
First submittedDecember 26, 2020
Times taken406
Rating4.18
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Country
Argentina
Austria
Bangladesh
Belarus
Belgium
Bolivia
Botswana
Brazil
Canada
Chile
Colombia
Costa Rica
Croatia
Denmark
Ecuador
Country
Estonia
France
Germany
Greece
Iceland
Ireland
Israel
Italy
Luxembourg
Malta
Moldova
Nepal
Netherlands
New Zealand
Norway
Country
Pakistan
Peru
Poland
Portugal
Russia
Serbia
Slovenia
South Africa
Spain
Sweden
Switzerland
Ukraine
United Kingdom
Uruguay
+3
Level 66
Dec 26, 2020
One of the difficulties I had making this quiz was figuring out how to standardize this. Many countries allow recognition with reassignment surgery, but I wanted to focus more on countries with relatively few barriers to legal gender change. However, I decided to include the countries that require hormonal therapy based on what the Wikipedia map shows.

There were other things that were difficult to gauge. For example, countries with widespread cultural recognition of transgender people but no legal recognition didn't make the cut. The US and Australia have recognition in many of their states, but not nationally (without surgery at least).

If anyone has any advice on improving the quiz or changing criteria, please feel free to let me know!

+3
Level 28
Jan 31, 2021
One of difficulties... is understand how people take it so nice and normal.
+14
Level 51
Apr 8, 2021
I think it should be seen as normal idk
+8
Level 55
Apr 8, 2021
It's difficult to understand how you can't mind your own business.
+18
Level 55
Apr 8, 2021
Sad to see that only 45 countries are there... Glad my own country recognizes it though.
+8
Level 45
Apr 8, 2021
So sad that so many countries allow people to believe in a fairytale like they can change sex without an operation. madness
+9
Level 56
Apr 8, 2021
This quiz was about gender identity, not sex
+4
Level 56
Apr 8, 2021
Gender and Sex aren´t the same thing. You can´t change your sex without operation, but gender is mostly about "how you perform yourself",
+5
Level 66
Apr 8, 2021
^Gender identity is psychological and focuses on how people think about themselves; sex is biological. There's also gender expression, which is more based on the traits that people exhibit.

As I've said multiple times here, the term "transgender" can be confusing and doesn't have a set definition. Generally though, I think the definition that is becoming most commonly accepted is people who identify based on a different gender identity than what they had at birth, since biological sex can only change with surgery and gender expression isn't about identity.

+1
Level 56
Apr 8, 2021
I don't think India recognizes change in gender without surgery. Source
+3
Level 66
Apr 8, 2021
First of all, wow I'm thrilled to see this quiz was spotlighted! Thanks to whoever did it!

Second, to address your question, yes it seems that India only allows gender change with surgery. It looks like it wasn't required according to the initial Court decision from 2014, but a more recent 2019 law mandates surgery for gender change. Thanks for pointing it out!

+2
Level 56
Apr 8, 2021
Congratulations on having a spotlighted quiz!!!

I think my views on this topic more or less concur with India's current laws. Mentally stable adults should be allowed to change their gender, with prior therapy and medical approval. However I think young kids, who are not fully mentally developed yet, should not be allowed to mess with their bodies and should not interfere with normal hormonal development.

+2
Level 66
Apr 9, 2021
Thanks!

And while I see why you would think that, I think getting care to transgender children is really important. Rates of depression are incredibly high among transgender kids who have gender dysphoria (which is essentially a condition where someone feels they are trapped in the wrong body). Unfortunately, this leads to really high rates of suicide among transgender kids. Hormonal therapy and psychiatric care alike have been shown to help save lives, which is why most major medical organizations in the US agree it's crucial for kids to be treated as much as adults.

Just yesterday, Arkansas made headlines here for passing a law that would completely restrict medical care for transgender kids. The bill was so extreme that even the Republican governor vetoed it (although then the state legislature overrode the veto so it became law).

+2
Level 66
Apr 9, 2021
Anyways, here's a good piece from the governor of Arkansas on this if you want to learn more. While I don't agree with everything he says (for example, I'm more of a big government person), I think the key points he makes about the harmful effects this will have on transgender kids and the need to let the kids and their families decide what care they need is really valid and well explained.
+2
Level 81
Apr 8, 2021
Not sure recognition is the right word. But... extremely fraught topic. And those who get most passionate about it cannot even agree on the basic definitions of words or the very nature of reality with those they disagree with, and then treat these disagreements as if they equal bigotry, violence, and/or Naziism; so, it seems almost deliberately complex trying to sort through it in any kind of objective way. Nice attempt, anyway.
+5
Level 66
Apr 8, 2021
True--there's no good definition to terms like "transgender," "gender identity," etc. And it's worth pointing out that virtually all of these countries have very different views/laws on transgenderism. For example, South Asian ideas on gender identity stem from the Hijra community, which are mostly male to female transitions and not vice versa. As a result, gender change in those countries is based on the idea of a "third gender" as opposed to a binary system.

And, of course, legal recognition doesn't always translate to acceptance. I read an article recently about a transgender person who became a news anchor in Bangladesh, but only after facing tons of abuse and rejection for her identity. In contrast, while Samoa (and possibly other Pacific Island countries) doesn't legally recognize transgender people, it's common for people to identify as non-binary there, and there's widespread social acceptance.

+6
Level 55
Apr 8, 2021
Most of us are just trying to live our lives and be at peace with ourselves, really.
+5
Level 81
Apr 8, 2021
Dekkie: I know. and I think that goes for people who agree or disagree with your position on this issue, whatever that position is.
+7
Level 73
Apr 8, 2021
This list makes me happy. What makes me even happier is how often it will need to be updated. Proud to be trans!!! 🏳️‍⚧️
+1
Level 56
Apr 8, 2021
The first update has a country removed from the list 😬
+1
Level 67
Apr 8, 2021
Congrats on the spotlight!

South America and Europe didn't surprise me but I found South Asia to be interesting. I have heard about the Hijra community only quite recently through Youtube of all places.

+4
Level 66
Apr 8, 2021
Thanks! Hijras are interesting in that they have a very long history in the India subcontinent. In Western countries, I feel like the idea of gender identity is relatively new, where as in South Asia it's existed for a long time, albeit in a different form. Sadly, despite this long history and the large population of people identifying as hijras, they still face a lot of discrimination.
+4
Level 73
Apr 8, 2021
It's saddening how many people reject their God-given identity
+9
Level 51
Apr 8, 2021
some people don't believe in a god tho
+2
Level 73
Apr 8, 2021
it doesn't mean that he doesn't exist
+6
Level 85
Apr 8, 2021
Doesn't mean that he does either.
+12
Level 74
Apr 8, 2021
Kids taking their own life is saddening.

People chosing their own path through life is not.

+1
Level 73
Apr 8, 2021
It may not be to you, but it is for me, because they're choosing the path which leads to emptiness
+5
Level 55
Apr 8, 2021
So what you're telling is that I have struggle mentally for the rest of my life? No thanks. Don't impose religion on other people.
+1
Level 73
Apr 9, 2021
I'm not telling you Dekkie that you have to mentally struggle for the rest of your life. It's just that research has shown that trans people are much more likely to struggle with depression, suicidal thoughts, etc.

I'll still call you by your pronoun of choice and if you don't believe in God, then I 100% understand why you made the decision you did and I want to respect that decision.

I also don't really think that I'm imposing my religion on you. If you were part of a cult which believed that college was evil, would that be imposing your religion on me? In my opinion, no, because I'm not bound by your beliefs. I think the same thing applies here.

+3
Level 72
Apr 10, 2021
Yes we're much more likely to struggle with depression, not because of transidentity itself, but because of people who harass us and want to make us change
+10
Level 67
Apr 8, 2021
It's saddening how ignorant some people can be.
+4
Level 66
Apr 8, 2021
To be completely honest, I had a lot of trouble deciding whether to support or oppose LGBT rights when I was young. I only moved toward full acceptance when I learned that one of my friends was gay in high school.

While I think making more people, especially religious people, accept LGBT rights is important, attacking people will only entrench them further into their views. I think listening to the arguments of others and using their own values (and I'd argue that some religious values can be used to support LGBT rights) to convince them LGBT rights are worth supporting is much more valuable than just saying they're wrong and ignorant. And, as with me, I think a lot of people become more accepting when they realize they have friends or family members who are LGBT.

+2
Level 51
Apr 8, 2021
^ same
+5
Level 81
Apr 8, 2021
I never opposed LGBT rights. But when I was younger I was devoutly Christian and I believed the argument that marriage was somehow a special religious thing and that it ought to be defined as a union between a man and a woman, until I learned more about it and changed my mind. But before then I still thought that homosexuals ought to be treated with the same dignity and afforded the same legal protections as anyone else, and thought that "civil unions" or something like that was fine.

These days, though, supporting someone's rights no longer seems to be enough for the social justice warrior crowd. You have to be in complete ideological lockstep behind them or you become their enemy, which is so dumb and counter-productive. I support everyone's rights regardless of what their "identities" are... but... nobody has the right to go around changing what words mean. Not straight people. Not gay people. Not trans.

+2
Level 73
Apr 9, 2021
I think people may be misunderstanding me. I don't see gay and trans people as any kind of lesser. I'll accept them and am powerless to stop them from doing anything.

The first response most people would have to the first sentence is to think that I'm misunderstanding them, and honestly, there is probably some truth to that. However, I think the only way to get rid of that misunderstanding is to have open, honest conversations where we just want to see the other person's perspective. Not "us versus them". Not the philosophy of "if your morals don't align with mine you're an ignorant bigot". I think the same mindset would also be helpful in the areas of race, politics, etc.

+1
Level 73
Apr 9, 2021
If anyone else has input, I'd be interested to hear it
+2
Level 66
Apr 9, 2021
While I don't completely agree with your views, I respect that attitude (and also what Kal said). That's especially true because arguments related to LGBT rights and transgender acceptance are often value-based and moral, with little hard evidence to support either side. It's difficult to completely change someone's values, and attacking them really isn't conducive to that.

One of the things I appreciate about JetPunk is that people are willing to learn from each other and hear other opinions. Everyone on this comment thread has been pretty civil. We probably wouldn't be able to have a conversation like this on Twitter or most social media platforms.

One thing about this debate that is fact-based though: transgender people (especially kids) suffer from really high rates of mental illness and suicide. I think most decent people regardless of their values can agree that this is something that should be addressed.

+1
Level 28
Apr 8, 2021
Now someone who understand me!