A court in Seoul has set a new precedent for LGBT rights in the Asian country, ruling that transgender South Koreans can reaffirm their gender on official documents without having to undergo sex-change surgery.
The ruling came after five transgender people filed the case in a district court. A transgender man included in the lawsuit argued there are medical problem that can arise from removing sex organs, the Korea Times reported.
According to the Gay Star News, transgender women experience some visibility in South Korea, with its most prominent activists being popstar Harisu and Choi Han-bit, the first transgender model to be featured on a Korean television show last year.
However, a television talk show that planned to discuss trans issues was pulled off the air after the first episode following protests by conservatives.
Earlier this year, a similar court ruling in Sweden mandated that Swedish transgender people wishing to have their identity reaffirmed on official government documents won’t have to undergo gender reassignment surgery
In Florida, changing a legal name does not require gender reassignment surgery. However, changing the gender mark on government documents does require a letter from a physician stating that the person is undergoing a transition.