Trans rights advocate: “Society is getting friendlier towards us”

Lenka Králová

The Czech Constitutional Court has ruled to abolish forced sterilization for individuals who want to make an official sex change. Czechia is one of the last few EU countries enforcing the sterilization requirement. The change, which will necessitate an amendment to the law, should come into effect in mid-2025. Trans advocate Lenka Králová, told me more about the situation and how she is feeling on this historic day.

“Czechia is one of the last countries in Europe which requires sterilization for legal gender recognition. In order to change the letter in your ID cards from ‘M’ to ‘F’, or vice versa, you need to get sterilized. You have to cut a piece of your body in order to change something in your documents. It’s hard to believe, but it’s just the way it is.”

Illustrative photo: Tumisu,  Pixabay,  Pixabay License

As a member of the Trans community, how are you feeling today about these potential changes?

“First of all, we have to see if this actually comes into effect, because the court is really pushing the politicians to change the law. So it’s not the case that sterilizations will not be required from today on, we need to wait at least one year.

“But I am really happy, I have the feeling that Czechia is finally becoming a Western country all of a sudden, and I really hope that Czechia will adopt equal marriage soon too.”

Since you began your transition, how has your experience changed? Have things gotten better and have Trans folks become more visible?

“The visibility is much better. I think that I am contributing to this too, since I have a YouTube channel where I invite other Trans people to talk about their life. I’ve done 50 interviews, and they have over three million views. Recently, we have also seen people who are publicly known come out as Trans. For instance, Daniela Špinar who is a very renowned theatre director and was the Director of Drama in the Czech National Theatre for seven years has come out. We also had a Trans contestant on the reality show Big Brother.

“People are less afraid, and society is getting friendlier towards us. But this really depends, I live in Prague which is a big city, and I work for an American IT company – so for me, life is perfect. But for those living in smaller towns and villages across the country, it can be different and harder.”

Are you hopeful that this change in legislation will make people feel more comfortable coming out publicly as Trans?

“I think people will be less pushed into sterilization surgeries. They will have more time to think these decisions about their bodies through, which is a very hard choice to make. Many people I know have gone for the sterilization surgery just because they wanted their gender to be legally changed. Every person should be responsible for their own body, and should not be pushed into this.

“I know many Trans people who have very strong body dysphoria, and they really want to undergo the surgery. But the decision should be up to them, they should not be pushed by the state.”