Germany Offers Third Gender Option for Intersex and Non-Binary People

Germany now allows intersex and gender non-conforming people to legally identity as such under a new law, reported BBC.

Prior to the law, those who did not identify within the gender binary opted out of registering their gender, since Germany allowed it in 2013.

Those who do not identify as either male or female can now mark “diverse” on official documentation according to the law that came into effect on Tuesday (January 1).

However, in order to do so, individuals must undergo a medical examination and provide a doctor’s certificate of approval. Because of this, critics say the law isn’t enough.

Intersex groups have criticized the bill, saying the intrusive medical examination could lead to the pathologization of the intersex population. “Sexual self-determination should exist only for a medically narrowly defined group of people,” the intersex organization Oii Germany said in a statement.

Trans advocates are also unhappy with the law, saying it excludes trans people, as it could make it harder for trans people to update their gender on official documents.

“For trans people, nothing has changed regarding the obstacles they face to change their registered name and gender,” Markus Ulrich, a spokesman for the Lesbian and Gay Federation in Germany, said.

According to the UN, up to 1.7 percent of the world’s population are born intersex.