When a woman has a baby and the baby is gay it can be hard for her to tell if she’s having a boy or a girl
Posted On June 20, 2021
In an era of increased gender diversity, the world’s oldest-known female-to-male transsexuals, who were born with male genitals, are facing discrimination in the legal system.
They’re also facing the threat of sexual harassment, abuse and assault.
And the legal debate about the right to be identified as a male or a female, or to be treated as one or the other, is only just beginning.
A growing number of states, including the US, Canada and Australia, have laws on the books allowing transgender people to be named as male or female.
But for now, a handful of states still ban same-sex couples from marrying or engaging in any form of gender-related conduct, including sex-change operations and hormone therapy.
The issue is being debated at the national level as states and the US Congress grapple with the issue.
Opposition to same-gender marriage and sex-changing surgeries has been a cornerstone of US political and cultural identity, but it is also increasingly controversial.
“I’m not gay or lesbian, I’m not bisexual,” said Victoria-based trans activist and author Kelly McCrady.
“We’re just trying to live our lives and make the best of it.”
But the question of whether same-sexual couples should be allowed to marry or participate in sex-related activities has become a political hot button.
“I don’t think there is a single American who thinks marriage is a right,” said McCradys co-author, activist and journalist Janet Mock.
“And if there were, there would be a long list of people who would be voting against it.”
She says the issue is particularly sensitive in states where there are a number of laws that discriminate against gay and transgender people, such as those in Texas, Arizona and Nevada.
“These laws have been written to discriminate against trans people,” McCraddys said.
Ms Mock says there is growing recognition that the legal right to gender identity is in danger.
“People are beginning to realise that the political right is threatened because there is so much discrimination against trans and gender non-conforming people,” she said.
Ms Mock is a co-founder of Transgender Legal Defence and a board member of the advocacy group Equality Matters.
She says there are growing calls to allow same-kind marriages in states such as New York, Florida and Pennsylvania, as well as in Washington, DC, where it is illegal for people to marry a same- sex partner.
But in states that do allow gay and lesbian couples to marry, there is often confusion over whether those same-parented relationships are legally valid.
“There is this huge confusion around the legal status of a relationship that has two parents, for example,” Ms Mock said.
“What is a ‘partnership’?
Is there a civil partnership or a civil union?”
The debate about same- gender marriages is becoming more urgent.
“As the number of same- kind marriages continues to increase, there are calls to change laws to make them a lot less difficult to obtain and a lot easier to recognise,” Ms McCrader said.
But some people, including conservative Christians, are concerned about the prospect of a slippery slope of more restrictive laws.
“The fact is that same- kinds marriages have existed in every culture for thousands of years,” Ms Mitchell said.
The debate over same- sexual relationships is now being debated on the US state level, where same-gendered couples can get married, but not participate in their partner’s sex-reassignment surgery.
However, there’s no evidence that the issue has increased in states in the US.
The legal rights of same sex couples in the state of New York have been challenged in the Supreme Court, and the state’s Republican governor, Andrew Cuomo, has indicated that he may block the practice altogether.
The US Department of Justice says there’s currently no national law protecting transgender people from discrimination in hiring, employment or housing, but states like Texas and Arizona have legal protections in place to protect trans people.
New York state has also made a number significant strides in recent years in the fight for transgender rights.
In 2015, it became the first state to allow transgender people in all public buildings, and in 2016, it passed the state-wide first-in-the-nation gender-neutral bathroom bill.
It’s estimated that more than 20,000 trans people live in New York state, and a number are living with their partners in private homes.
But it’s also not just trans people living in New Jersey and New York who are worried about the impact of the recent legislation.
Transgender activist and lawyer Jessica DeParle says that transgender people are now being treated differently in the courts and on the streets.
“It’s very difficult for trans people, especially transgender women of color, to be able to access the