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Last Updated: Wednesday, 26 September 2007, 04:21 GMT 05:21 UK
Argentine boy sex change approved
By Daniel Schweimler
BBC News, Buenos Aires

Surgery (File picture)
Nati has been ordered to have counselling after the operation
A court in the central Argentine province of Cordoba has for the first time agreed that a sex change operation can be carried out on a minor.

The case concerns a 17-year-old male called Nati who wants to be a woman.

The decision ends a long-running legal process for Nati, who suffers from the transsexual disorder known as Harry Benjamin Syndrome.

The judge insisted that Nati receive counselling after the operation, which will take place in the next few days.

Nati knew from an early age that she had been born with the wrong body.

The decision by the court in Cordoba, the first of its kind in Argentina, means that that can now be put right.

Legal fight

After the operation Nati will also be able to officially change her name and apply for new documentation.

I'm very happy, she said, that my real identity has been recognised.

This has become an emblematic case for people who have a gender identity different to their biological one
Cesar Cigliutti

Her parents and friends have supported the 17-year-old during a long and often tortuous legal process that saw some decisions go against her.

The president of the Argentine homosexual community, Cesar Cigliutti, was one of those supporters.

"Not only the operation has been authorised but also the necessary changes to her birth certificate," he said.

"What's important and unusual about this case is that Natalie is a minor - she is not yet 18 years old - and this has become an emblematic case for people who have a gender identity different to their biological one."

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