Senator Fernando Esteves on Wednesday introduced a groundbreaking bill that would make it easier for transgender people on Guam to change their legal sex designation on their birth certificates without the surgical requirement.
If Bill 291 becomes law, Guam would join other states such as California, Hawaii, District of Columbia, Iowa, Maryland, Massachusetts and Minnesota, where the surgical requirement for gender change has been waived.
"It is time that transgender people in our community be given the dignity they deserve,” Estevez said. “The first step to combating hate and discrimination is for the government to officially recognize the true gender people identify with.”
Under Bill 291, the petitioner would only be required to include an affidavit of “affirmation” from a licensed physician, psychologists, clinical social worker, mental health counselor, a nurse or a family therapist.
“No other requirements such as … surgical, hormonal or other treatment or therapy shall be conditioned upon the approval of a legal sex designation change or subsequent name change application,” the bill states.
“Providing a process for transgender people to be themselves and for the government to recognize that, does no harm,” said Estevez, who is not running for reelection. “The government has not recognized these people in the past which has been harmful.”