While President Trump continues to push forward a transgender military ban in the U.S (1) - (which does just what it sounds like, bans transgender service members from serving) -  other countries have been taking steps towards more equity (for almost a decade now!)

Here are some laws that show some progress around the world:

  • NEPAL: In 2007, Nepal was the first country to recognize the need of a third gender. Four years later, they applied the law to include third gender in their census and passports. (2)

  • ARGENTINA: In 2012, Argentina passed the Gender Identity Law which gave people over the age of 18 the right to the recognition of their gender identity, free development of their person according to their gender identity, to be treated according to their gender identity and to be identified in that way in the documents proving their identity in terms of the first name/s, image and sex recorded there. (3)

  • DENMARK: In 2014, the Danish Parliament passed a law for gender recognition in which people can change their gender marker in legal documents and accept the basic right to self-determination of trans persons who are 18 years or older. There is no requirement of psychiatric diagnoses or medical certifications, which destigmatized trans folk as mentally disordered. (4)

  • MALTA: In 2015, Malta’s government enacted the Gender Identity, Gender Expression and Sex Characteristics Act which allows for the recognition and registration of the gender of a person, as well as protection of a person’s sex characteristics. This law also gives people the right to bodily integrity and physical autonomy. The law acknowledges that “gender identity is considered to be an inherent part of a person which may or may not need surgical or hormonal treatment or therapy. (5)

  • URUGUAY: In 2018, The Comprehensive Law for Trans People was passed which massively expands protections for the transgender community. The new law defines gender-affirming surgery and hormone therapy as a right and ensures those treatments will be paid for by the Uruguayan state (yes, you read that correctly!). It also reserves 1% of jobs in the government for transgender people, and sets up a fund to pay reparations to transgender people who faced persecution when the country was under a military dictatorship from 1973 to 1985. (6)

On the federal level, the U.S still has a long way to go, but some states are making some strides by initiating “Gender X” on state and identification documents such as birth certificates and driver’s licenses to promote inclusivity for those who identity outside the male or female binaries.

While these laws are a step in the right direction, there’s still a lot of work to be done!

For those looking for more info and support, check out our resources!

Written By: Camilla Andrea


(1) Liptak, Adam.  “Supreme Court Revives Transgender Ban for Military Service.” nytimes.com https://www.nytimes.com/2019/01/22/us/politics/transgender-ban-military-supreme-court. html

(2) Young, Holly. “Trans Rights: Meet the Face of Nepal’s Progressive “Third Gender” Movement.” theguardian.com https://www.theguardian.com/global-development-professionals-network/2016/feb/12/trans-rights-meet-the-face-of-nepals-progressive-third-gender-movement

(3) Transgender Europe. “Argentina Gender Identity Law.” tgeu.org https://tgeu.org/argentina-gender-identity-law/

(4) Transgender Europe. “Denmark Goes Argentina.” tgeu.org https://tgeu.org/denmark-goes-argentina/

(5) https://tgeu.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/Malta_GIGESC_trans_law_2015.pdf

(6) The Associated Press. “Uruguay passes law granting rights to trans people” apnews.com https://www.apnews.com/3595d9e5837f4d07abe2715dd6cde671