Australia’s Stupid Requirement Trans Men Turn Vaginas Into Penises

I continue to be amazed that a human being actually needs to ask somebody else, let alone a government body that is a man-made construct, to be allowed to be a certain gender. Like the two trans men in Australia who have to sue their own government in order to be considered male, because after winning in court the right to check “M,” the attorney general got worried that somebody who is male could still bear children, and that would confuse everyone, so the office appealed and was shot down, sort of, by the Court of Appeal, which said fertility isn’t a factor, but having male genitalia is, and because the two trans men didn’t have below-the-waist surgery, they’re still women. So unless they pay, like, tens of thousands of dollars, they must just … deal.

Especially because, according to one of the complainants, that type of gender reassignment isn’t even legal there. So the government considers these two to be ladies, but their passports say male, and I can only imagine what would happen if they tried to marry a woman. OR A MAN!

They’re appealing their case to Australia’s High Court.

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  • Patrick

    I don’t think it’s such an outrageous requirement for someone to actually physically change to another gender in order to be recognized as such. But I know, the trans people want the right to do whatever pleases them on a particular day, and expect everyone else to instantly adapt. Issues like these are what doomed the inclusive ENDA.

  • Ogre Magi

    Why is addadicktome surgery illegal in that country?

  • Tina

    Some of us can’t AFFORD surgery. Some don’t want it, others have medical risks that preclude and disallow the surgery. Besides, if a man loses his penis, is he still a man? This australian ruling thinks they’re no longer men.

  • ChrisM

    This title was really confusing, somebody should change it. Unless the women part was supposed to be ironic? I’m not really sure.

    And Patrick, it’s LGB’s like you that make it so much harder to pass LGBT legislation and earn respect. Glad you would sell someone in a predicament similar, probably worse, than ours out to fight the kind of intolerance your are preaching.

  • Chris

    They’ll win in the High Court.
    Australia’s chief justice, French, is an openly gay man and another associate is a lesbian.
    I know their sexualities shouldn’t interfere with decisions, but it’s a pretty liberal court.

  • Shawn

    “Australia’s Stupid Requirement Trans Men Turn Vaginas Into Penises to Become Women” is almost, but not quite, a sentence. Or rather, is too many sentences.

    If I were a Queerty editor (if such persons exist), I would rewrite it, but I think either of the following edits of its current incarnation would work:

    “Australia’s Stupid Requirement! Trans Men [Must] Turn Vaginas into Penises to Become Women.”

    Or: “”Australia’s Stupid Requirement [Demands] that Trans Men [Must] Turn Vaginas into Penises to Become Women.”

    BTW, I am willing to offer my proofreading and grammatical services to Queerty on a freelance basis!

  • Michael Peterer

    Er, Chris, you’ve got that wrong. Chief Justice French is not gay – he’s married, to a woman lawyer. Maybe you were thinking of a former justice, Michael Kirby, who retired last year? Justice Bell is, however a lesbian. Also, it is no longer really a “liberal” court, at least not the sense that Americans understand the term. Maybe it sort of was “liberal” in the Mason era, but that is now many years behind us.

  • Chris

    @Michael Peterer: ah you got me on Kirby, thought he had a while to go.
    But the High Court has typically been quite progressive when compared to the government and the legislature anyway.

  • John (CA)


    I wouldn’t count on it.

    Liberal or not, judges have to play by the rules. And unfortunately, the rules are stacked strongly in favor of the status quo. As Mr. Justice Kirby found out to his dismay, there’s very little he could do for other gays and lesbians on the High Court.

    Australian courts have far less power than their counterparts in the United States, Canada, and South Africa because the judiciary is functionally subordinate to Parliament in nearly all matters. Australia has no Bill of Rights or Charter of Freedoms and Rights. Minorities generally have no legal standing to pursue rights beyond what Parliament gives them. And I think you will find it difficult to find anything in the constitution that says the commonwealth has to recognize “sex” as a non-biological construct since there’s no equal protection guarantee. Existing legislation seems to tie the definition to genitalia and does not mention gender identity at all.

  • Zaniell

    @Patrick: You must be over 50.. :[[

  • Zaniell

    So, this Queerty (i’m new to this site) is it a transphobic site in general? I’m asking cause there’s a lot of whining about “homophobia” here and plenty of transphobic comments. How about I just start running the “f” word at people like Patrick? Patrick you need to stop using your butthole as a vag in order to be considered human, did ya know dat?

  • Zoe Brain

    It’s not illegal in Australia: it’s just that there are no surgeons who perform it.

    It’s really specialised surgery, involving about a dozen procedures over more than a year, with a cost in excess of $100,000. Success rate is about 30%. Travelling to the other side of the world every month for genital surgery, then flying back, is not feasible.

    Metoidaplasty which gives a length of a few centimetres is simpler, costs about a third, and has a success rate approaching 90%, though several revision surgeries may be necessary. Most guys in Australia opt for that.

    And as one Girlfriend of an FtoM guy once said “more than a mouthful is a waste”.

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