Sage Akouri tells us why new Victorian birth certificate legislation means to them
For a really long time now I have known that the word on my birth certificate used to define my ‘sex’ has not matched up to my identity and has caused me a lot of distress throughout my life. I have put myself at risk of harm every time I have had to present that certificate.
Last year I was extremely proud to have been in parliament when the amendment to the Victorian law reform for Birth Deaths and Marriages passed in the upper house.
This means that I, and many others like myself, could finally change the restricting and distressing word marked on our birth certificate and replace it with a marker that affirms our identity and aligns with who we are, making it safer and easier to show the Identity documents when necessary.
Finally, after what felt like a super long wait, today these laws came into effect and I couldn’t be more excited and relieved, not just for myself but for everyone who has had anxiety over the incorrect word displayed for all of their lives. From today onwards we will be able to make that simple yet life altering change that will mean so much to myself and the Trans, Gender Diverse and Non Binary community.
For me, having Non-Binary displayed on my birth certificate means being recognised and respected. This change takes the fear out of having to present a birth certificate that does not match up to who I am. I will now be able to change my sex at my bank so that I can actually be spoken to and not be denied access to my account, I can now enrol in university, apply for a job etc. without feeling unsafe and at risk of humiliation or worse.
This is a HUGE win for the LGBTIQA+ community and Victoria. So, congratulations, we did it!