Argentina isn’t usually thought of as the continent’s most progressive country, but it took a huge step forward in transgender rights this month when it mandated public and private health care plans to provide, at no additional cost, hormones and surgery to transgender people upon demand.
The new law, which was approved by the Senate by a vote of 55-0 (with 11 abstentions or “absences”), also allows adults to officially change their gender on various documents without first obtaining medical treatment or “permission,” a vast improvement over U.S. policies. Even children are allowed to change their genders without parental approval. The Washington Post pointed out that the new rules means that “these changes can be more benign and even reversible, if some day the person’s self-image changes.”
Argentina was also the first Latin American country to legalize gay marriage two years ago.