A Saskatchewan woman has filed a complaint with the Canadian province’s Human Rights Commission, demanding the removal of the sex listed on anyone’s birth certificate because her child is a transgender.
Fran Forsberg filed the complaint on behalf of her child, Renn, after the provincial Vital Statistics Agency (VSA) rejected the mother’s request to change Renn’s sex designation from “male” to “female” on the 6-year-old’s birth records, CBC News reports.
Forsberg’s child was born with male genitalia, but has identified as a girl since she was just 3 years old.
Forsberg submitted reports from a physician and psychologist confirming that Renn identifies as female, but the VSA refused to make the change because a Saskatchewan resident can only change the sex designation on birth certificates when a person has undergone sex reassignment surgery.
Forsberg argues that confusion and discrimination can be triggered when the gender marker – M to F – on a birth certificate, driver’s license or passport doesn’t match someone’s physical presentation.
“We used to have race on our birth certificates—also, what your father did for a living. It’s irrelevant,” the mom told CBC News. “What I would like to see is for gender to be removed completely from birth certificates.”
Even though birth certificates fall under provincial law, Canada’s federal government requires them for passports.
Forsberg says that Renn showed obvious signs that she was a transgender about three years ago. She started self-harming by banging her head against the wall if she wasn’t allowed to wear girls’ clothing and be called a girl.
Now, Renn’s 11-year-old sister, Krista, helps her select different outfits to wear – from black sequin halter dresses to fancy pink gowns.
Renn is also allowed to go to the girls’ bathroom at her elementary school.
Their mother stressed the importance of healthy self-esteem in her children.
"I want people to understand that my kids do not have an issue with their gender or their gender expression," Forsberg said. "It is society's issue."
CKOM reported that Forsberg has received criticism including that Renn is too young to really identify as a transgender. But Forsberg argues tackling the issue while she’s young will help her daughter as she becomes older and other people like her.
"I don't want my kids to think that they have something to hide or that they have something to be ashamed about, because they don't," she adds.