In a landmark decision, the state parliament of Queensland, Australia, has revised its laws regarding gender identification, eliminating the need for surgery when updating gender markers on birth certificates and other official documents for trans and gender-diverse individuals.

The amendments, which the Queensland parliament passed on Wednesday, introduce significant changes to self-identification regulations, meaning individuals aged 16 and above can now legally self-identify their gender on their birth certificates without undergoing sexual reassignment surgery.

To complete the process, they must provide a supporting statement from an adult who has known them for at least one year.


The modifications extend to younger individuals as well. As reported by The Australian, those between the ages of 12 and 15 can also update their birth certificates if they obtain parental consent or seek approval through the courts.

Furthermore, parents now have the option to omit gender information altogether from newborns’ birth certificates. Queensland’s Attorney-General, Yvette D’Ath, emphasised that this provision empowers individuals to have greater control over the recorded data, stating that “providing these protections to trans and gender-diverse people does not pose a threat to others.”

D’Ath also acknowledged that Queensland had been one of the last Australian jurisdictions to implement reforms in this area. The state drew inspiration from models adopted by other jurisdictions while crafting its own legislation.

Following the passing of these progressive measures, advocacy group Equality Australia expressed their delight and hailed the changes as “momentous.”

In a social media statement, they noted that Queensland had been one of the last regions in Australia to remove outdated legal barriers for trans and gender-diverse individuals. The impact of these reforms will extend to Queensland residents and those born in Queensland and currently residing elsewhere.

However, the Liberal National Party opposed the reforms. Tim Nicholls, the party’s justice spokesperson, stated their reservations were rooted in concerns about allowing children to make significant, life-altering decisions. Nicholls emphasised the need for caution and consideration when dealing with individuals under 16.

Responding to the opposition, Attorney-General D’Ath underscored how Queensland had taken cues from other jurisdictions and asserted that the reforms were not “dangerous or reckless.”

The recent legislative changes in Queensland are widely seen as a significant step forward in recognising and affirming the rights of trans and gender-diverse individuals. By removing the surgery requirement for gender updates on official documents, the Australian state has been praised by many for taking a progressive stance, fostering inclusivity and promoting self-identification.