Target: Helle Thorning-Schmidt, Prime Minister of Denmark
Goal: Praise Denmark for allowing transgender people to legally change their gender without violating their rights
World leaders are both working to improve rights for the LGBT community and passing laws that criminalize being gay or transgender. Denmark recently passed a law making it easier for transgender people to legally change their gender. This landmark human rights bill should be seen as an example by governments around the world.
Following the changes, Denmark will allow transgender people to legally change their gender without undergoing diagnosis for a mental disorder or surgically changing their physical appearance which can result in irreversible sterilization. Previously transgender Danes could only change their gender after being diagnosed with “transsexualism” or having sex change surgeries performed. While some transgender people would seek surgery regardless, it should not be seen as a requirement. These procedures are no doubt costly and can cause undue harm for the individual. Unfortunately, many countries require transgender people to go through these hoops before their perceived gender will be legally recognized.
This law will come into effect on September 1, 2014 and should set the standard for all of Europe and the rest of the world. Requiring surgical procedures to be completed before a transgender person can change their gender is a violation of human rights, leaving them vulnerable to harassment and discrimination. Many countries including Finland, France, Norway, Belgium, and Germany currently require surgery while Ireland does not even have gender change legislation in place.
Denmark should be praised for its commitment to human rights, and hopefully its example will inspire other European nations and the world to change laws to protect crucial human rights.
Dear Prime Minister Thorning-Schmidt,
Recently your country passed a landmark bill allowing transgender people to more easily and legally change their genders. Previously such legal recognition required the individual to first get a mental health diagnosis and undergo expensive surgery. As you are no doubt aware, requiring such procedures violates human rights and makes transgender people more vulnerable to harassment and discrimination.
I am writing to praise Denmark for passing this legislation. Very few countries have similarly progressive laws, though things are beginning to change. As world leaders begin to recognize and protect the rights to the LGBT community, nations should be looking to Denmark as a shining example. Hopefully one day all nations will have such laws and protections in place.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Paradox via Wikimedia Commons