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“I knew from the age of three that I was a boy and not a girl… School years were hell”

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«Orξερα απo τρι oν oτι orμουν αγορaκι και oχι κοριτσa&kappa ι… Κoλαση τα μαθητικa χρoνια»

“I knew from the age of three that I was a boy and not a girl and my school years were hell. It is important to keep in mind how vulnerable trans children are and how they live their adolescence”, said Alexander.

Alexandros, who was one of the first people in Cyprus to undergo a gender change, was invited on Wednesday to the Legal Committee, where he was asked to tell a part of his story, when the debate opened on the right of every citizen to gender recognition, which same person chooses. Alexandros was in the seats of the Parliament, since through his own experience he was able to convey to those present what a person who identifies with another gender, from what is written on his identity card.

“My gender has stamped an entire life. I lost two decades of professional life because I didn't have the basis to express myself and be the person I was. Even when I finished my studies, I wasn't the person I wanted to be.”  

In his post, he explained that this ongoing process is a big moment, especially for trans people, since they are given the right to express themselves and contribute to society.

“It is incredibly important that they have been modified the details of a person, if they want to contribute and offer to the working environment of Cyprus, which is particularly gendered. This law will bring big changes for trans people”.

“For six years we have only seen the draft”

The importance of starting this debate was also pointed out in his presentation by the adviser to the President of the Republic on LGBTI issues, Kostas Gavrielidis, noting that for six years, all they have seen was the draft law. Mr. Gavrielidis, as he himself explained, was among the pioneers who drew up the specific bill and although the result before them, which will require long discussions, is not the best at the moment, it is nevertheless the best in initial stage.

Mr. Gavrielides also referred to what applies in the rest of the countries of the European Union, stressing that 25 of the 27 EU member states have some procedures, which apply some procedures for changing identity, among them Cyprus, while of the 25 only six require surgical procedures.

Under the bill that has been filed, people who have the right to initiate procedures to change their gender in official documents are adults and minors from 16 years of age and older, who will have to appear in the Family Court and before a special Commission that will established, for the specific subject. This, as indicated by Mr. Gavrielides, may need discussion and modification.

He explained that, under the provisions of the bill as it stands at the moment, the process in question could create negative feelings for the children, as they would have to appear before a court and a committee. “This will work, just wait two years, turn 18 and do the procedures,” he concluded.

For his part, the president of ACCEPT LGBTI Cyprus, Nikolas Tryphon, stated that as an organization they face problems related to trans children every day, stressing that it is important to enact a law for all children. He indicated, at the same time, that they have some reservations about some provisions of the bill, such as the age framework, but also the fact that only those who are single can make the change in question. However, it was also hurt by the fact that there was a delay of seven years for the bill to be brought to the Parliament.

The disagreement with the presence of the Church in the debate

The bill prepared by the Government, regarding the correction process and the consequences of changing the registered gender of a person who considers that there is a discrepancy between their gender identity and their registered gender, was tabled and discussed in the Legal Committee. During the debate, disagreements arose over the presence of a representative of the Holy Synod in the Committee.

The first objection was raised by AKEL MP, Aristos Damianou, who noted that in the preparation of the debate, there was a request for his presence of the church and continuing, after expressing respect for the role of the Holy Synod, he argued that some issues concern the rights of citizens and there must be a separation of responsibilities.

The president of the Commission and MP of the Democratic Alarm, Nikos Tornaritis, indicated in his turn that he had made it clear from the beginning that any citizen of the Republic, let alone an institution, when he has something to testify, has the freedom to attend a session of the Commission and to present his views. “In this context, the Church of Cyprus, which we respect, was also invited. This does not mean that we embrace all opinions”, he indicated.

However, the parliamentary representative of the Democratic Party, Panikos Leonidou, also wanted to respond to the AKEL MP, who took the floor and noted that he considers it their obligation to listen to the views of the church as well.

From his side. , the representative of the Holy Synod, Archimandrite Georgios Christodoulou, taking the floor, answered the AKEL MP, stressing that in every session that the church is present, it starts in the same way. Starting his position, he pointed out that the Holy Synod considers that gender is a gift from God and is determined by the body itself, it is not at will. The bill, which allows some people to change their gender, recognizes their right to reverse their nature, the priest noted.

He noted that the only times it is accepted are extremely rare cases, where the gender change is required due to a medical problem and called on the Parliament not to vote on the bill in question.  

Source: www.reporter.com.cy

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