Hungary’s right-wing government led by strong man Viktor Orban is set to push through legislation denying trans people the right to define their gender legally.
The proposed legislation will define gender as “biological sex based on primary sex characteristics and chromosomes”, therefore making it impossible for people to legally change their gender.
Hungarian trans and human rights activists say that the legislation will increase intolerance and discrimination towards trans individuals. They say many will try to leave the country while those that cannot, will be humiliated daily.
Ivett Ordog, a 39-year-old trans woman living in Budapest said:
“In Hungary, you need to show your ID to rent a bike, buy a bus pass or to pick up a package at the post office. It basically means coming out as trans to complete strangers, all the time. The good version is they are nice about it, but there are situations where people turn quite hostile.”
Independent MP Bernadett Szel described the law as “evil” and a “step back in time”. During a hearing on the proposed law, she tried to read out a letter from trans people describing how harmful the law would be but she was shut down and the letter was called “irrelevant”.
The law will also target those who have already made a legal change and now live with a gender that doesn’t match their “sex at birth”.
Experts say the law is a clear violation of European human rights case law and can be challenged in the Hungarian supreme court and the European Court of Human Rights.
Orban’s government has been increasingly hostile towards the LGBTIQ community over the last few years. He has used discriminatory language, referred to heterosexual marriage being preferred and compared homosexuality to paedophilia.