For Mar Cambrollé, a 65-year-old transgender woman in Spain whose activism dates back to the fascist Franco regime, a bill making its way through the country’s parliament marks “the most important milestone for trans people in 44 years of democracy”.
The bill, which was approved by the lower house of parliament on Thursday, would allow trans people to self-identify, meaning they could change their legal gender on identification documents without the need for psychological or medical appraisals from the age of 14.
It would also allow children aged 12 to 14 to change gender with a judge’s approval if, as expected, it becomes law in 2023.
The bill would put Madrid at the forefront of trans rights, letting trans people bypass a slew of medical tests and outside assessments, and change their status unilaterally. “Finally there’s a place for trans people under the umbrella of democracy,” Cambrollé, a campaigner for equal rights since the 1970s, when same-sex relations were still illegal, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.