When the State Department announced its new policy concerning passports last week, it noted that its decision was guided by recommendations of the World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH). The State Department was influenced in particular by the individualized nature of the WPATH Standards of Care, which recognize that transition-related treatment must be tailored to an individual based on a range of accepted treatment options; and by WPATH’s previous public statement that surgical treatments should not be a prerequisite for gender changes on identification documents.
On the heels of the new State Department policy, WPATH has issued a new public statement that amplifies its previous statements:
No person should have to undergo surgery or accept sterilization as a condition of identity recognition. If a sex marker is required on an identity document, that marker could recognize the person’s lived gender, regardless of reproductive capacity. The WPATH Board of Directors urges governments and other authoritative bodies to move to eliminate requirements for identity recognition that require surgical procedures.
NCTE applauds WPATH for taking a clear stand in support of government policies that will improve health, safety and well-being of transgender people.