AAP August 18, 2009 07:44pm
TWO West Australian female-to-male transsexuals have won the right to be considered men without having to undergo surgery on their reproductive organs.
The transsexuals won an appeal in the State Administrative Tribunal against the refusal of the WA Gender Reassignment Board to issue them with certificates recognising “the reassignment of their gender”.
The board had found against them because they had female reproductive systems, which it said was inconsistent with being male.
But the administrative tribunal said while neither had undergone any surgery to alter their ovaries, uterus or vaginas, or had a penis constructed, both were infertile and had “presented as, and appeared to be, males”.
“Both applicants had undergone bilateral mastectomies and testosterone treatment as a result of which each had undergone extensive physical changes consistent with being male,” the tribunal said in its finding.
” … the tribunal accepted the evidence of each applicant that he intended to continue testosterone treatment for the rest of his life.
“It accepted the medical evidence that each was, and would remain, infertile for as long as he continued testosterone treatment”.
The tribunal said it noted that a surgical procedure was not a requirement of the state’s Gender Reassignment Act.
A female reproductive system was “a fundamental, although not essential, physical characteristic of being female”, it said.
“However, it was not persuaded that the presence of those organs alone, in circumstances in which there was no longer a capacity to bear children … outweighed the other physical characteristics by virtue of which each applicant is now identified as male”.
The tribunal noted that the WA Attorney-General’s office had intervened to support the gender board’s ruling at an “early stage” of the appeal proceedings.
The identities of both men have been suppressed.