Lithuania: The right to be accepted as you are: Towards legal gender recognition in Lithuania

In a meeting room of the Parliament of the Republic of Lithuania, a conference entitled “Prospects of securing transgender persons´ human rights in Lithuania” took place. 

Among all the voices in the conference, one of them stood out, despite the fact that it was not in the official programme. That was the voice of Tovaldas; a transgender man who has undergone a legal process to achieve the fulfillment of his right to be recognized by society as what he feels and what he is, a man. “I want to live the life of a man that I desire. A full member of society” Tovaldas said.

“My gender identity was evident when I was a child, but nobody spoke”, Tovaldas continued. He started to tell his story in front of the audience. How, in 2010, after years of silence, he started to look for information about transgender people. When he found an article in the internet, he started a process of self-awareness which was followed by vindication of his right to be accepted as he is. Not an easy task in Lithuania, where according to an LGBT* Survey, carried out by the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA), 49% of the Lithuanian respondents said that they would feel totally uncomfortable working with a trans colleague, and 82% said they would feel totally uncomfortable if their children dated a trans person. Read more via LGL