Ana Valenzuela: "A judge does not have to verify the gender identity of adolescents"

The President of Chrysallis Asociación de Familias de Menores Trans defends eliminating this step for minors between 12 and 14 years of age

3 min
Ana Valenzuela, president of Chrysalis, an association of parents of transgender children

Today, June 28th, is LGTBIQ+ Pride Day and tomorrow the Spanish Council of Ministers is expected to approve the new trans law, which will allow a person to change their name and gender from the age of 14, without the need for tests, witnesses or medical reports. Ana Valenzuela, President of the Chrysallis Association of Families of Trans Minors, has assessed this path in an interview with ARA and has hoped that during the processing it will change the point that makes adolescents between 12 and 14 years old have to go to a judge to take the step. "We do not agree that adolescence has to be taken to a judicial process and that a judge has to verify gender identity. Only we can say who we are".

Antoni Bassas interviews Ana Valenzuela

Valenzuela has regretted the initial "blockage" with which the text collided and has blamed the PSOE and, specifically, the vice President Carmen Calvo, whom she has accused of defending the stance that the recognition of trans women "would erase the rest of women". She explained that three entities, including Chrysallis, acted as mediators to achieve the agreement between the PSOE and Podemos. "It is not a matter of legal certainty but of political will," she said. She has pointed out that Calvo's thinking, like that "of a minority part of feminism", considers her daughter, who is trans, to be a "danger for cis women [gender identity fully coincides with the sex attributed at birth]. "And she added that one of the points of controversy is the way in which crimes of gender violence are considered: if a trans woman is tried for a crime of this type, the sex she had at the time of the facts will be taken into account and, therefore, once she has made the transition she will no longer be judged as responsible for a crime of gender violence: "She is a woman, if she assaults she will be judged like any other woman".

She has celebrated the lowering of the age at which you can make a sex change from 16 years. Those over 14 will be able to do it if they have the consent of their guardians and the most debated point is that those over 12 will have to go through a court. Valenzuela is confident that all judges will rule "in favor of the child. She also considered it right that the decision to change can only be reversed once: "Trans people are not a fraud, they do not decide to change overnight, it is a very hard and complicated process that society still does not accept".

Valenzuela has also explained that these children do not have the same rights as the rest and that, for example, they can feel restricted to do sport because to participate they have to be included in the category that is specified on their ID card: "This makes many children stop doing sport". Her daughter has had her name changed since she was eight years old and, as she explained, it was clear from the first moment she began to speak that she did not feel she identified with the sex she was born with. But she has defended that if there is no change in the text of the law they will not be in favour of taking her before a judge at 12 years old and that they will prefer to wait until this step is no longer necessary.

She has also lamented the positions of the extreme right against trans women or the doubts of Vice President Calvo: "Every time there is a message against trans women, the next day we have aggressions. We had managed to reduce this type of aggressions a lot and now they are increasing every day".