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Cabinet apologizes for old transgender law

The cabinet apologized for the old transgender law on Monday, Nov. 30, through Minister Ingrid van Engelshoven (Emancipation) and Minister Sander Dekker (Legal Protection). There will also be a compensation scheme for victims.

The old transgender law stipulated that transgender people, but also intersex people, for example, could only change their official sex registration if they had their bodies modified and had themselves sterilized. This meant for people, for example, that they had to say a final goodbye to a desire for children without necessity.

The cabinet decision to apologize came at the urging of the Transgender Collective, consisting of Willemijn van Kempen, TNN, NNID and Bureau Clara Wichman, among others. The COC sent a letter to the government in support of this initiative in February 2020.

Ministers Dekker and Van Engelshoven apologized to the Transgender Collective in an online meeting and consider financial compensation appropriate. Dekker: "We can't really imagine such a violation of bodily integrity today." Van Engelshoven called the law a "symbol of social rejection.

"I warmly congratulate the transgender community on this very just recognition of the harm done to them by the old law," responded COC President Astrid Oosenbrug. "This breakthrough is entirely due to the perseverance of the Transgender Collective."

Spokesmen for the Transgender Collective speak of a "historic moment. They call it impressive "that the government is taking responsibility and acknowledging that the law has caused deep suffering. The COC concurs. The compensation scheme will be worked out in more detail by the cabinet and Transgender Collective in the coming period.

The new transgender law, which no longer requires physical modification and sterilization, went into effect on July 1, 2014, after years of campaigning by TNN and COC. Together with NNID, those organizations are currently advocating for further improvements to the law. These include abolishing the "expert statement," which is still required for changing gender registration, and options for 16-year-olds to adjust their registration.

The exact regulation on the concession is still in the works and thus is not yet known. Still, we understand that people already have questions. Do you have any questions? Mail them to TNN: [email protected].

[Source: COC NL, TNN, OCW - Photo Trans flag: CC-National Progress Party].

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