“My name is Sakris Kupila. I’m a 21 year old medical student from Finland. I was still a teenager when I realised that I’m transgender, that the gender assigned to me at birth doesn’t really tell the truth.”
“I had struggled for years, miserable and withdrawn, trying to figure out how to grow up in a world that was trying to shove me into a completely wrong role. A couple of years after that first realisation, another one came up: I wouldn’t be able to live my life without transitioning and starting to finally live in the way that felt natural and comfortable to me.
“The current law of legal gender recognition, however, requires that a person should be over 18 years of age, have a psychiatric diagnosis and be sterilised or otherwise sterile. I’m not sterile and I don’t want to be.
“I remember the moment when I realised that I would have to be sterile in order to change my legal gender. It was devastating, and I was just a child. I knew that, according to the government, I should not have the right to even potentially have children. It felt awful. I felt alien, like a freak. It felt like I was categorised subhuman based on my gender identity. I felt sick.
“Because of my work advocating for the rights of trans people, I have faced harassment, intimidation, threats of violent beatings, and open hostility, forcing me to take a year away from my education.”
Support the brave and stand with Sakris: demand that the Finnish government supports transgender rights defenders like Sakris, and that they make the legal gender recognition process quick, accessible and respectful of human rights.