Bahrain: Continued Denial of Legal Gender Recognition and Gender-affirming Healthcare for Transgender People in the Name of Islamic Sharia


In a recent judgment from May 2023, a Bahraini lower court rejected a transman’s application to obtain legal gender recognition and access gender-affirming healthcare, citing Islamic Sharia. The plaintiff sought judicial approval to undergo gender-affirming healthcare and to obtain legal gender recognition afterwards. They requested to be examined by a medical committee from the Ministry of Health to determine the necessity of undergoing gender-affirming healthcare to treat their gender identity disorder. The plaintiff submitted medical documentation from Bahrain and abroad, proving that they have been diagnosed with gender identity disorder and have consistently exhibited masculine social attitudes while preferring to present themselves as male. Therefore, they decided to request to undergo gender-affirming healthcare and attempted to obtain legal gender recognition to alleviate their mental anguish and align their gender identity with their legal documents and physical appearance.

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