Transsexual fails in High Court bid

Tuesday 09 July 2002 22.09
Transsexual fails in High Court bid

A 55-year-old transsexual has failed in a High Court action to compel the State to recognise her as female.

Dr Lydia Foy, a dentist from Athy in County Kildare, had sought to have her gender changed from male to female on her birth certificate.

However, in a detailed judgement running to over 130 pages, Mr Justice Liam McKechnie said that based on the medical and scientific evidence, Dr Foy was a male at birth and her registration as male cannot be changed.

Lydia Foy told the Court that she felt she had spent over forty years of her life trapped in the body of a man.

As Donal Mark Foy, she qualified as a dentist, married and fathered two daughters.

But in her head, despite the biological evidence of being male, she wanted to be feminine and claimed her brain was at birth, and is now, female.

In 1992, with her marriage over, she underwent gender reassignment surgery. By deed poll Donal Mark became Lydia Annice.

However, her birth certificate still registered her as male and she fought a 14-day battle in the High Court to have this changed.

Lydia Foy wanted the court to find that she was born female, but with an undiscovered congenital disability.

Mr Justice Liam McKechnie was clearly sympathetic to Dr Foy. Irrespective of the legal outcome, he said the evidence showed that Gender Identity Disorder is an established condition and he hoped that the days of intolerance and sensational reporting are long gone.

A key issue in the case was whether the brain indicator should be a factor in determining sex.

Mr. Justice McKechnie found that the medical evidence is still insufficient to establish brain differentiation as a marker of sex.

He concluded that Dr Foy was male at birth and that the Registrar of Births Deaths and Marriages was correct in the entry to the register.