Across the globe, trans rights are on the frontline of human rights. In the US, the Republican party has introduced a blitz of legislation aimed at making it harder for trans people to access basic healthcare, while the Biden administration has proposed changes to Title IX, the federal civil rights law prohibiting sex-based discrimination in schools and colleges, that would further protect transgender students. In Spain, a bill is moving through parliament that would allow 16-year olds to freely change their gender (previously, a doctor’s diagnosis was required); 12-year-olds would be able to do so with a judge’s approval. In England, the TERF Wars still rage; France just banned conversion therapy; Mexico recently issued a birth certificate with a third gender to a non-binary person for the first time. Meanwhile in sports, which have become a key testing ground for trans rights, just last week German soccer passed new laws allowing transgender athletes to decide whether they want to play for men’s or women’s teams, while FINA, the world governing body for swimming, announced a new rule that would prohibit transgender women from competing in major women’s races, and create a new “open” category for them.
In the face of what Transgender Europe, a network of organizations dedicated to strengthening the rights of trans people in Europe and Central Asia, describes as “slow progress” across many countries, trans people continue to survive and, when allowed, thrive. Of course, none of this work happens on its own. Here, the GQ global network spotlights eleven trans artists, activists and creators to talk about their lives and conditions in their country.
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