(c) Universität Augsburg - Source of image: https://www.uni-augsburg.de/de/campusleben/50-jahre/ist-justitia-blind/
In the following I would like to address some aspects of the origins of the TSG, as they developed for me as a contemporary witness of the events of that time from my perspective.
In the mid-1970s I went through my own transition as a transsexual woman (Neuro-Genital Syndrome = NGS). This means that at that time, as a young woman who had clear sex knowledge of my female sex since early childhood, I tried to compensate for my physical hormonal / genital discrepancy with HRT and genital reassignement surgery, which I should strive for as soon as possible.
Even at that time there was of course a small minority of people with our phenomenal situation, who as a rule lived far away from each other and thus isolated, who in a time before the introduction of modern communication technologies could only come into contact under considerably more difficult conditions than today.
In addition, even then there was the clearly differentiated phenomenon of transvestites, i.e. those people who usually also knew their actual gender, but which was in accordance with their genitals at birth, but which the clothing behavior or the more far-reaching opposite-sex role assumption as Aspired to way of life.
As far as I know, there were no substantive or specific connections between transsexuals and transvestites at the time, apart from the previously clearly differentiated phenomena. Apart from genital intersex people, no other gender diversity was known at the time.
My transition began under the conditions of still largely unregulated processes, with the exception of the "institutionalized gatekeepers" at the time, perceived by psychiatrists, who acted as a contact point for relevant requests as well as for the central monitoring of further processes. Even then, their efforts to control access and processes were largely well established. The need for control and guidance even went so far that a lady from that circle thought she was giving an unsolicited assessment statement for my GaOP surgeon, although I, as the person affected, had obtained his address in other European countries myself.
At that time there were no other existing structures in Germany to help transsexual people and their needs for medical support, i.e. neither specialized facilities for the implementation of GaOPs, nor were I known to German specialists who had the corresponding knowledge and experience.
Accordingly, there were no relevant legal regulations, neither for the assumption of the costs for necessary medical measures for transsexuals, nor any name and personal status regulations for transsexual people *. I am not aware of any desirable or urgently required activities by the "gatekeepers" to resolve these dilemmas.
In my case, however, this was done in a very supportive manner by an endocrinologist, and is proof of what could be achieved when renowned medical institutions did their best for their transsexual patients. The regulation of name and civil status problems was not intended even for post-operative ex-transgender people, and could not be easily achieved even with the best and emphatic medical support.
For me, who was able to complete my GaOP in the summer of 1977, that meant that I was faced with a completely uncertain prospect in this regard. My sexus and sexus knowledge were now clearly and consistently female after the genital-correcting operation, but my personal documents and all related effects were, in contrast, apparently unalterably "male", with all the consequences that such a discrepancy in everyday social life entails brings!
In the summer of 1976 I was introduced to our Goettingen member of the Bundestag, Thorsten Wolfgramm. At that time, Mr. Wolfgramm was also chairman of the petitions committee of the German Bundestag. Already in our first interview he showed a great understanding of the legal dilemma that had been made clear to him, in which I found myself as a transsexual person.
He suggested that I start, develop and organize a corresponding petition for the creation of a legal regulation to resolve this dilemma.
A self-help group of a few transsexual men and women, as well as some of their relatives, which was being established at the time, were from then on eagerly working to collect signatures, with an appeal to the legislature to authorize and enable the legal regulation of names and personal status for postoperative transsexual people.
At one of our irregular meetings with Mr. Wolfgramm, we were happy to be able to tell him about the first 1000 signatures we had collected for our relevant petition. Mr Wolfgramm also surprised us with the positive news that he too had already spoken to several of his group colleagues about the matter and the problems for us. He mentioned in particular the positive attitude of his Hanoverian parliamentary group colleague Detlev Kleinert towards our concern.
At the time, Mr. Kleinert was also Parliamentary State Secretary in the Federal Ministry of the Interior, and as I found out in retrospect, Mr. Kleinert made a special contribution to creating the prerequisites for a legal regulation in the form of the later TSG.
Our SHG was informed that a sex science-psychiatric congress was to take place in Frankfurt in October 1978 on the subject of transsexuality.
We, who had traveled there with a total of five people from the SHG, were able to have a conversation in breaks with Volkmar Sigusch, the then chairman of the German Society for Sexual Sciences, whom we are proud of our successful petitioning activities with in the meantime already several a thousand signatures reported.
How incredibly disappointed we were about his reaction, which was depressing for us, when he told us unequivocally that from his point of view there would never be a TSG and that it should stay that way!
If we had previously assumed that Mr. Sigusch and his colleagues were technical experts, also in the area of our affected problems, from whom we had expected an open-minded understanding of our concern, we were soberingly bitterly disappointed by his reaction in this regard.
We started our way home in a dejected mood, which also lowered our motivation to collect further signatures for our petition for the time being, because we had to assume that such a renowned expert as Mr. Sigusch would be able to adequately assess the political situation in this regard should, and that he would certainly not use his influence in this regard in our favor.
A month later, however, we experienced the news report that the second senate of the Federal Constitutional Court under the leadership of the then BVG president and former Göttingen law Professor Dr. Hans-Hugo Klein, announced his decision in the case of a postoperative transsexual nurse, according to which she was granted the full name and personal status change to complete her sex.
The importance of this BVG decision cannot be valued highly enough in its impact on the later decision of the parliamentarians to agree to the following legal regulation in the form of the TSG, which at the time (1981) was self-praising the most modern legal regulation in the world to have created in this matter.
I myself owe my prompt change of name and civil status to the BVG decision of November 1978, which enabled me to complete my university degree, as well as the start of my first job, with legally gsex-specific documents.
In addition, the BVG decision in the summer of 1980 ultimately made it possible for me to marry my husband at a civil registry office, although this marriage has existed in 2017, i.e. for 37 years now.
The TSG came into force in 1981.
* The legal dispute with the statutory health insurance fund documented by the eyewitness since 1976, which finally came to a decision in 1980 before the Lower Saxony State Social Court through the appeal proceedings in all instances, was the first judicially successful decision for the (subsequent) assumption of costs for a sex reassignement surgery by the Health insurance.
We thank the author for the permission to publish this very important historical insight here. - And now it should also be clear why the author in particular is very emotionally intertwined with the topic when it comes to ending the gender ideology and improving the situation for those affected by NGS (and thus also the overall social acceptance).