Germany’s first ever transsexual MP has launched a campaign with her wife to make it easier for citizens to change their gender.
Tessa Ganserer, 42, who was born Markus but came out as a transgender woman in January, said: “It was clear to me last summer that I am a woman and I need to live like this, but I wanted to wait until after the state election.”
Earlier this year, Ganserer, who represents the district of Nuremberg as a Greens member, was warmly welcomed into parliament when she donned a blonde wig and skirt.
She said: “I have received an overwhelming amount of positive feedback.”
Ganserer said that the heartwarming support wants her to make the change permanent.
Even though she is giving people time to adjust to her new identity, adding that colleagues “still accidentally use the old first name or male form of address”, she is not so patient when it comes to current laws.
According to Ganserer, she has to obtain two expert opinions and be required to follow therapy before a judge can formally allow her to change her identity in the German registry.
She said: “It involves a lot of bureaucracy. I have to pay for everything myself as ‘transidentity’ is seen as a disease.”
Supporting Ganserer every step of the way is her wife Ines Eichmueller.
The 39-year-old woman, who has two children with Ganserer, even reportedly sent a petition to fellow Bavarian Karin Seehofer, wife of German Interior Minister Horst Seehofer, requesting that marital partners and judges be excluded from all official channels.
Currently, the Transsexual Act of 1981 regulates gender changes, although the law has since been declared unconstitutional and is in the process of being rewritten.
Eichmueller said: “If people want to change their gender, the Interior Ministry’s outline continues with the need of a degrading trial.
“I would be interviewed as a spouse in court, even about the most intimate areas of life.”
She said this is why she decided to write to Seehofer’s wife and not to the Interior Minister himself.
Eichmueller said: “Just like she has nothing to do with her husband’s law proposal, I have nothing to do with Tessa’s decision. Maybe she can make that clear to him.”