The relationship between LGR procedures and the socioeconomic position of trans individuals

AuthorDirectorate-General for Justice and Consumers (European Commission), ICF
Legal gender recognition in the EU: the journeys of trans people towards full equality
June 2020
Part I of this report focused on the social situation of trans people and Part II considered
the design and lived experience of LGR procedures. Part III seeks to go one step further,
by understanding whether there is a positive correlation between inclusive policies
allowing for Legal Gender Recognition (LGR) and the well-being of transgender people.
9 Overall effects and impact of the legal procedures
This chapter considers the overall effects and impact of the LGR procedures. The first
Sections (9.1, 9.2, 9.3, 9.4) present the results of the consultation activities conducted
for this study: the testimonies of trans participants . The second half (Section 9.5) uses
statistical data to explore whether there is a correlation between the accessibility of an
LGR procedure and the average socio-economic position of trans people in different
areas of life. The chapter concludes by considering whether and how far the results of
the consultation of trans people is reflected in the broader statisti cal picture.
9.1 Well-being and health
Many trans people in the study from across all legal clusters and regions of EU stated
that obtaining LGR had positively impacted their well-being. As discussed further
below, these impacts can take many forms, including a strong sense of happiness and
relief, internal feelings of validation, reduced stress in public settings, health benefits
(particularly in terms of mental health), self-confidence, and reduced fear of the future.
Indeed, the most com mon impact of LGR, as reported by 35% of respondents to the
online consultation was on their sense of well- being. The se cha nges includ ed
improvements in mental health and self-confidence; not feeling distress or shame when
presenting legal documents such as passports and ID cards ; and reduced stress levels.
Some noted feelings of relief now t hat their legal status matched their gender identity.
18% and 15% of those that completed LGR reported positive impacts to their health
and home life respectively.
Figure 46. Reported imp act of completing LGR for respondents to the online
consultation (on well-being, health and home life)192
192 Source: Online consultation for this study. The question asked: ‘Has obt aining legal gender
recognition had an impact, whether positive or negative, on any of the following aspects of your
life? Please tick all that apply’ and ‘For each choice selected, we invite you to explain the impact
(s) this has had’. Multiple answers possible. Note that there are limits to the representativeness
of this sample. Responses categorised as ‘neutral’ were where a respondent had chosen a category
but did not indicate whether the impact was positive or negative. Base: respondents who
answered these questions in the online consultation (n=337).
0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60%
Your home life
Legal gender recognition in the EU: the journeys of trans people towards full equality
June 2020
Study participants from most EU countries including Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Cyprus,
Denmark, Est onia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Malta,
Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Sweden and the UK spoke of the
positive effects on their well-being that arose after they completed LGR pro cedures.
Many pointed to the enormous sense of relief and happiness that they experien ced,
and the validat ion that came from having a legal gender marker that matched their
gender identity. One trans woman (aged 45-54) living in France (clu ster 4) felt that
from the moment of this change, I started to live better. For me, everything changed .
She was able to change other documents and her social security number. She also felt
comfortable travelling by plane, which she would not have done before her legal gender
marker change, due to the risk of being questioned on her identity. Similarly, she now
feels able to attend medical appointments without worrying that they will address her
as ‘Mr’. Similarly, a trans woman (aged 35-44), living in Romania felt more confident
after finishing LGR as I knew that from now on, I will be recognised wherever I go and
authorities can’t question it. This is further discussed by the participant s below.
I have never been so happy in my life.
Trans woman, aged 25-34, residing in Spain (cluster 2)
It has been a huge relief and a huge freedom to access ordinary civic freedoms and
rights and to have my name and gender marker aligned with my identity .
Man with a trans history, aged 35-44, residing in Cyprus (cluster 1)
I did not think the LGR would have any impact other than freedom to marry, but it
did in fact have an enormous effect on my well-being - finally I feel justified,
authorised, legitimate, whole, completed, validated...
Woman with a trans history, aged 75 or older, residing in the UK (clust er 3)
‘When I changed my name … I couldn’t get over the fact that having a piece of paper
with the right gender in my hand was just like, so elevating! I look at it each day
when I come home.
Transgender person, age unknown, living in Ireland (cluster 5)
It is such a relief to be able to go anywhere with your ID, which matches who you
really are.
Trans man, aged 18-24, residing in Spain (cluster 2)
Not having to worry about being asked for ID and having to explain t he discrepancy
between stated gender and name on the one hand, and presentation on the other, is
a great relief. In add ition, holding an official document with the right gender an d
name on it is a very validating experience and a great joy.
Trans woman, aged 55-64, residing in the Netherlands (cluster 3)
‘There are no more humiliating moments where I need to explain my ent ire life each
time there are official papers involved … I do not need to justify anymore who who I
am because the state has recognised who I am.’
Trans man, aged 18-24, residing in France (cluster 4)
Generally, participan ts who had not gone through an LGR procedure expected that it
would have the same positive impacts on well-being as discuss ed above.
Many participants pointed to th e greater ease that they exp erienced in their day-
to-day life after LGR procedures as a result of having ID documents that matched their
gender identity an d gender expression. S ome stated that they are no longer forced to
come out about their trans identity in public life, with processes such as security checks,
going to the ban k, or presenting their ID in other contexts being made easier. Some

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