Tony Briffa has been interviewed by Claudia Calleja of the Times of Malta, while a Gender Identity Gender Expression and Sex Characteristics Bill proceeds through that nation’s parliament. Tony and OII Australia take a keen interest in Maltese developments: our former Vice-President is a dual national and her parents were both born in Malta; and the Bill will create a world-first right to children’s physical integrity.
The draft Bill proposes prohibiting doctors from carrying out surgery on intersex children unless it is a medical emergency. It also allows parents to wait until an intersex child turns 14 to officially register the gender as male or female.
Tony agrees that the law should not allow doctors to change the physical sex of a child, unless it is medically essential. “Sadly, castrations and physical sex changes are exactly what happen to children all over the world – it happened to me. As a Maltese person I am very proud Malta is the first country to stand up and put a stop to it,” says Tony who was born with Partial Androgen Insensitivity Syndrome.
Tony discusses the mental health impact of early surgical intervention, and the need to recognise all kinds of intersex gender identities – including both ‘M and F’ for Tony.
Calleja, Claudia. “‘Healthy Hermaphrodite’ Is Both Man and Woman.” Times of Malta. 16 February 2015.
OII Australia. We welcome Maltese government proposals on rights to bodily autonomy. 14 December 2014.