The Spanish Government has successfuly passed several LGBTQ+ and gender laws. Trans people in Spain can now self-identify as trans from the age of 16 on. The law also allows for trans youths aged 12 onwards to self-identify with the approval of a judge.

New Trans Law

In February 2023, the government in Spain decided to pass new reforms and laws in favour of LGBTQ+ people. Finally, some great news! The European country allows trans people from the age of 16 to self-identify as trans. They no longer require a psychological or medical diagnosis.

The majority voted in favour of the so-called Ley de Trans, translated ‘transgender law’. The votes were 191 to 60, with 91 deciding to abstain. Trans people in Spain are legally allowed to change their gender on official documents without requiring a medical diagnosis. This means that there is no need for a gender dysphoria diagnosis or evidence of a two-year gender-affirming treatment.

Trans people between the ages of 14 to 16 will require the consent of their parents or legal guardians. However, those aged 12 to 14 will need a judge’s permission. Nevertheless, this means that trans people in Spain from the ages of 12 on will be given a pathway to change their legal gender.

The right-wing Popular Party member Maria Jesus Moro opposed the law. She claimed it ‘caused a lot of suffering’. Clearly, she was wrong. Countries like Denmark have applied self-identification laws for years, since 2014. To the surprise of nobody, no suffering was caused. In fact, governments prevented more suffering, that of the trans and gender diverse community. Spain has just become more trans-inclusive.

Spain to lead as example in Europe

Other European countries such as Germany, Finland, and Switzerland, have also introduced self-identification laws. Trans people deserve the right to change their gender without needing other third parties’ approval. Spain made progress by separating the legal from the medical. There is no reason for trans people to undergo medical assessments to change their legal gender.

Other countries in Europe should follow Spain’s example and eliminate unnecessary and harmful barriers stopping trans people from living their lives and being recognised as who they are by the law. This is especially evident in the UK, whose Government recently blocked the Gender Recognition Reform bill. This bill would have allowed Scottish trans people to change their gender without having to go through the process of a medical diagnosis.