Proposed Bill Would Allow Kenyan Intersex People to Change Their Gender

A hand drawing the intersex pride flag. Illustration by Brendon Lies.

A new bill in Kenya would legally recognize intersex people who choose to have a gender-affirming surgery and change their gender on legal documents.

The bill, which would amend the Registration of Persons Act, says they have six months from the surgery date to change their I.D. and legal documentation, according to Standard Media. The Kenya National Commission on Human Rights (KNCHR) said the bill is a step in the right direction.

“Being intersex is not being abnormal. It is just the third sex marker,” Jedida Waruhiu, the chairperson of the intersex taskforce at KNCHR said. “The bill is engendering the fact that sex characterization is not fixed in the normal binary codes of male and female. Further, it is also giving the intersex persons the opportunity to make informed choices regarding the surgeries when the want to uphold the dominant sex hormone.” 

The bill would also specify the term “sex” to include male, female, and intersex characteristics.