The study, published in the journal Lancet Public Health, is based on a survey of more than 20,000 adult transgender people. The researchers concluded that legally changing gender in identification documents, such as ID cards or driving licenses, contributes to the mental well-being of transgender people. For example, the number of attempts to end one’s life would decrease by 25% if official documents of a trans person show the correct gender.
Professor Greta Bauer of Western University (Canada) emphasizes that changing gender in official documents is "a critical step" in achieving social acceptance. Dr. Ayden Scheim of Drexel University (USA) adds that governments have an important role in this process. “Our results suggest that governments and administrative institutions are important when it comes to reducing psychological problems for trans people, simply by making it easier to match identity documents to their identities.”
The researchers do emphasize certain limitations within their study. According to them, there are a number of variables that were not included in the study, for example access to social guidance or help.
Still, the study is in line with a similar Canadian study, which found that having at least one gender-affirming document can indeed reduce a transgender person's suicidal thoughts.