General News

Taiwan sees “landmark” ruling for trans rights

Rachel Badham September 30, 2021

A court in Taiwan has ruled in favour of a trans woman who appealed against current regulations that order trans citizens to present proof of surgery before being granted legal recognition of their gender. According to local news source, Focus Taiwan, Xiao E applied to have the gender marker on her ID changed in 2019 but was denied by Taoyuan’s Daxi District Household Registration Office, leading her to file a lawsuit. 

In an official ruling last Thursday, the Taipei High Administrative Court found that the current regulations are unconstitutional, as the country’s law states that “all other freedoms and rights that are not detrimental to social order to public welfare shall be guaranteed.” Xiao E’s lawyer, Victoria Hsu, noted the importance of the ruling, telling SupChina: “We hope this will be the beginning to abolish the requirement of compulsory surgery, to protect transgender peoples’ dignity and rights, and hopefully help to pass a legislation to regulate the process of gender marker change in the near future.”

E-Ling Chiu, director of Amnesty International Taiwan, celebrated the court’s decision, calling it “a landmark moment for transgender rights in Taiwan.” The country is renowned for being one of the most LGBTQ+ friendly places in Asia, with it being the first place in the continent to legalise same-sex marriage. It is also home to Asia’s largest annual LGBTQ+ Pride event, holding the biggest parade in the world since the coronavirus pandemic began.