Anne Koch-Rein

Intersexuality - In the “I” of the norm? Queer field notes from Eugenides’ Middlesex


Since 1983 the sex change is no longer punished by law in Spain . But all the medical care and legal burocracy transsexual people need to undergo to get our registered name and sex changed, have not been ruled yet.

There’s only one autonomus comunity, from the seventeenth which conform the Spanish State , that has included the complete medical care for transsexual people in the Comunity Health Service. This situation is due to the decentralization of the National Health Service among the different Autonomus Comunities.

The legal situation is due to be regulated on the next months with the “Ley de Identidad de Género” (Gender Identity Law). Untill now, 2005, transsexual people had to go to court demanding sex and name change on our birth certificates. On these trials we are obliged to undergo a medical examination, which is inhuman. On top of this, judges have the last word on our identity. Thus if anyone has a conservative judge on the trial we are quite sure we won’t get the name and sex change on our birth certificates.

When the Gender Identity Law becomes a reality, transsexual people will only need the certificate of the psicologist and the endocrinologist who are attending us to be able to change our registered name and sex on our birth certificate.

In 1989, The European Parliament passed a Resolution on the discrimination of the transsexual people in which requests the States members to pass dispositions on the rights of the transsexuals and the prohibition of discrimination.

The current situation in Spain is that of persistent discrimination at both legal and social level toward the transsexual people. Discrimination that has led to labour exclusion, and social scorn of the transsexual community.

Taking into account the above depicted situation, the following measures are claimed by the transsexual comunity in Spain :

  • The inclusion in the National Health Service of the transsexual process (psychological support treatments, hormonal and surgical).
  • The regulation of the registered name and sex change in our bith certificate.
  • The concesion of asylum on grounds of transsexuality.
  • Educational programes which help society understand the transsexual situation.
  • The government’s financial aid to transsexual associations on their selfhelp groups.

From the feminist point of view, transsexuality is a situation that is not yet clear whether feminist activists and associations are ready to include.

From the LGB (Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual) people in associations, there is a strong support towards us, but there is still a great lack of understanding.