The Darbon Institute is aware of comments widely circulated online that compare transgender affirmation surgery to genital mutilation.

The comments come in response to a recent profile of actor Elliot Page by Time Magazine in which he discusses his top (chest) surgery.

As a leading organisation working in Australia and New Zealand to end genital mutilation, The Darbon Institute completely rejects the comparison of trans affirmation surgery to genital mutilation. It is a false equivalence.

Darbon Institute Chair Jonathan Meddings said, “Genital mutilation is non-consensual and medically unnecessary. Trans affirmation surgery is not genital mutilation because it is consensual.”

“Trans affirmation surgery can also be medically necessary in the sense that for some the psychological distress from having a gender identity that doesn’t match their biological sex can be life threatening.”

While some trans people undergo surgical transition, many do not and they should not be required to do so to have their gender identity legally recognised.

A petition urging the Queensland Government to allow legal gender recognition without the need for invasive surgery has over 23,000 signatures.

Every Australian state and territory except Queensland and New South Wales have removed this requirement.

Margot Fink, Executive Director of Transgender Victoria said, “Queensland and New South Wales need to catch up and amend the law to ensure no trans person is compelled to undergo surgery they do not want in order to change their legal gender markers.”

For more information:

Jonathan Meddings | Chair | Darbon Institute

[email protected] | +61 437 435 091 |

Margot Fink | Executive Director | Transgender Victoria

[email protected] |

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