Canada's Wren Kauffman, 12-Year-Old Transgender Boy, Gets a New Birth Certificate
In a major victory for the LGBT community, Wren Kauffman, a 12-year-old transgender boy in Alberta, Canada has been issued a new birth certificate listing his gender as male. Wren Kauffman, who was assigned female at birth, found it incredibly stressful being listed as female — and who could blame him? Being 12 years old is stressful enough as it is without having a huge discrepancy on your birth certificate causing everyone to question your gender. After he filed a complaint with the Alberta Human Rights Commission, Alberta culture minister Heather Klimchuk presented him with his new birth certificate during a Pride festival brunch on Sunday. His gender is now officially male.
"If you're not yourself, then it kind of gets sad and depressing," Wren told CBC News last year. "I'm glad that I told everybody." Us too, Wren. Us too.
Since the 1970s, it’s been the law in most Canadian provinces that people could change their birth certificates after having gender reassignment surgery. Although it was an improvement, it remained problematic due to the fact that it left out both transgender people who choose not to transition, and transgender children: You have to be at least 18 years old to be eligible for the surgery, leaving no options for kids like Wren. Ontario revisited the law in 2012, during which a human rights tribunal ruling declared it discriminatory for birth certificate changes to require surgery; Alberta followed suit in April when Premiere Dave Hancock ruled that the surgery requirement would be dropped in their province, as well.
According to Queerty, human rights complaints similar to Wren’s have also been filed in three other provinces (British Columbia, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba); as such, the ruling in Alberta might trigger a sweep in transgender rights victories across Canada. The U.S. has also been (finally) hopping on the LGBT train, with Medicare now covering gender reassignment surgery, Lauren Scott emerging as a possible candidate for the first transgender state legislator in history, and Laverne Cox’s phenomenally important TIME Magazine cover. Here’s hoping the U.S., Canada, and the entire rest of the world keeps going on this path — just one step at a time will make a huge difference in the long run.