France: Court Finally Recognises Third Gender

franceA ruling by the French courts on August 20th now means that a 64-year-0ld individual, who had both male and female genitalia, can use the term ‘neutral gender’ on official documents, according to Vice-Prosecutor of Tours, Joel Patard. 

This is the first time that the French courts have  acknowledged a third gender, when the individual wished the courts to confer a judgment of neutral gender, rather than male or female. The courts ordered the town of Tours to change the documentation to “gender neutral”.

When the plaintiff was 35-years-old, testosterone was administered, leading to a more masculine appearance, which was a shock. This brought the realisation “I no longer recognised myself. It made me realise I was neither a man nor a woman”.

He told reporters at the daily newspaper ‘20 Minutes‘ “As a teenager I understood that I was not a boy.[..] Today I finally feel I am recognised by society for who I really am”.

In court, there was a lot of supporting documentation, of a medical and research nature, which showed that the individual was not alone in this situation, the Vice-Prosecutor said.

The individual is married with an adopted child.

Although appealing the decision to the Court of Appeal at Orléans in France, Vice-Prosecutor Patard said this is because he feels a higher ruling is required in a case that has “collided with current laws”, and not because he disagrees with the judgment.

There are countries who already recognise the third gender, and even countries who have anti-LGBT laws, like India, recognise this status.




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