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Brazil lowers age for gender reassignment surgery

Last year, the Brazilian Supreme Court ruled that transphobia and homophobia were criminal offences. A 2018 court ruling allowed trans people to change their name and gender on official documents without undergoing surgery.

The medical regulations, last updated in 2010, also promote psychological support for trans children and teenagers.

Advocates said they welcomed the new regulations, particularly lowering the age limit for surgery and the inclusion of rules for treating trans youth such as puberty blockers that can allow trans children and their families time to address issues of gender identity.

“This resolution is very important for us,” said Symmy Larrat, president of the Brazilian Association of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transvestite and Transgender People.

“It’s not the resolution of our dreams, but it’s a big step forward,” she told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

The new rules in Brazil follow other efforts in the region to widen rights for trans young people. In 2018, Chile approved a law allowing people as young as 14 to change their name and gender in official records.

But despite the progress in Brazil, religious conservatism and violence have made it hostile to LGBT+ people.

The nation of some 200 million people had the highest number of trans murders globally last year – at 130 – in the 12 months ending in September, according to the Trans Murder Monitoring project.

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro.

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro.Credit:AP

The new guidelines came just days after Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro spoke out against what he called “gender ideology”, a conservative term for progressive ideas on sex and gender.

“A father wants his son to be a man, his daughter to be a woman,” said Bolsonaro, who has been critical of expanded LGBT+ rights, during a live social media broadcast on Tuesday.

Reuters Thompson Foundation

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