Over 500 Belgians updates their gender identity on official documents a year, reveals data

Belgium, Europe In the past year, 530 citizens of Belgium changed their listed gender on their identity cards, as per the figures from the Institute for the Equality of Women and Men, split almost evenly between trans men (262) and trans women (268).

The residents of Belgium have been able to change their gender on identity documents since January 1 2018, and 3,262 individuals have taken the opportunity to do so in the years that, according to the reports.

Moreover, the 414 figure in 2020 is thought to be lower due to the pandemic lock down making it more difficult to use government services.

An estimate by the Institute for the Equality of Women and Men indicates that there are around 55,000 transgender individuals in the nation, which means that for many people, their gender identity does not yet align with what is stated on their passports.

Along with this, there are various explanations for this, as per Liesbet Stevens, deputy director of the Institute, including that the options only allow for “man” or “woman” to be selected.

The non-binary individuals, which means those people who do not conform to gender presentation associated with the traditional Western concepts of male and female, do not see their identity represented in the current two-option choice.

Stevens mentioned in the statement, “For those who identify as non-binary, there is actually no option.”

“While the starting point of the new legislation in 2018 was precise that everyone should have the chance to register according to their gender identity, the law also states that a gender identity cannot fluctuate, which in turn is a problem for gender fluid persons.”

Furthermore, the court ruled that the Transgender Act, which determines the procedure for changing from “male” to “female” or vice versa, was in violation of the principle of equality in the Constitution because it excluded non-binary or gender-fluid individuals.

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