“Self-determination within limits”

This statement was written by the trans* counseling team of the AStA.

The Self-Determination Act (SBG) is being awaited with reservations by trans* people throughout Germany. The law refers to the possibility for trans, inter and non-binary people to change their name and gender entry in a reasonably uncomplicated way. In future, this will be regulated via a declaration to the responsible office. The new draft seems like a fundamental improvement in contrast to the TSG (Transsexuals Act), which is unconstitutional in many respects and has been in force in Germany since the early 1980s. But the joy may be moderate. Criticism of the SBG comes from two directions. On the one hand, there are people who believe that a “dangerous trans* ideology” will now be propagated in schools on a daily basis from nursery school to final year, so that as many children as possible under the age of 10 will undergo all the reconstructive operations available. Furthermore, such important and extremely helpful regulations as the women’s quota would now be infiltrated by “men” who at best pretend to be women as a joke, at worst for abusive reasons. And especially in sport, where gender segregation of athletes is essential to maintain the male-female ego, thousands, if not millions of men would surely now creep in with the new SBG to oust our good German organic women. The sarcastic tone of this post naturally reflects the conspiratorial and, for trans* people, completely dangerous sentiments of the conservative parties. As always, the first reactionary thoughts of people who are not familiar with the topic are exploited here and amplified to the point of immeasurability – to the benefit of the seemingly reasonable right-wing “center”. The fact that the new SBG baselessly suspects all trans* women of secretly being abusive cis men after all, that so-called “stateless persons” have to endure a completely unclear legal situation in relation to the SBG, that their first name AND gender entry have to be changed by force, that minors need a binding declaration from their legal guardians, that there is both a registration period of 3 months before the change and a retention period of one year after the change, that the SBG explicitly refers to domestic law and freedom of contract; these and more are points that will have a real impact on the lives of thousands of people. The SBG will only refer to the legal status of trans people, not to medical access or social integration in the workplace, on the housing market or in other fields in which trans people are largely precarious. Unless, of course, someone somewhere in Germany wants to refuse service to a trans woman and asserts their right to freedom of contract and domiciliary rights; it’s good that we are legally protected in such situations.

The trans* counseling of the AStA of the University of Göttingen