Canadian Trans Girl: Amended Birth Certificate Is Just the Beginning

Among the first British Columbians to have her gender corrected on her birth certificate, Harriette Cunningham argues that there's more change yet needed.

BY Mitch Kellaway

August 01 2014 4:48 PM ET

After British Columbia recently changed its laws to remove a requirement that transgender people undergo surgery before changing their gender on birth certificates, an 11-year-old trans girl from Vancouver Island, says she was first in line to correct her document.

"I was probably the youngest," Harriette Cunningham told CTV News.

"It just made me so mad and made me almost frustrated to know that I'm a girl, and then I look on my passport and it says that I'm a boy," the young woman, who joined 29 other transgender citizens to first utilize the new law, told CTV.

"It matters to me to have me properly represented," she explained to the Province. "It's not just a piece of paper." In researching her rights, Cunningham further came to the conclusion that gender should not be required on birth certificates at all.

"I'm not done yet," she announced to CTV. "I want to get gender off the birth certificates so when a child is born they don't put 'M' or 'F' on their birth certificate. That would have made it a lot easier for me."

Her supportive family plans to appear with her and other activists before the British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal to argue for the change in October.

Tags: Transgender

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