The Home Affairs Ministry is launching a new division at the Citizenship and Civil Records Agency (Dukcapil) dedicated to assist transgender people in applying for and obtaining civil documents.
Historically, many from the often-persecuted gender group have found it difficult to obtain civil documents, which do not afford any interpretations of gender fluidity. Those without civil documents like ID cards (KTP) and family cards (Kartu Keluarga or KK) don't have access to social services, the government health plan, and aid.
But now Dukcapil says all transgender people are welcome to apply for civil documents, including KTP, KK, and birth certificates.
"Dukcapil offices in all of Indonesia will assist our transgender friends to obtain civil documents," Dukcapil Director General Zudan Arif said.
While this is undoubtedly progress for the transgender community, it must be noted that Indonesia is not starting to recognize gender fluidity by any means.
Zudan himself explained that new gender categories will not be introduced in civil documents, and that transgender applicants will be assigned genders based on their biological sex in the documents. They will also be deadnamed in the documents unless they have legally changed their name post-transition.
Rights groups are urging the government to make that extra step and recognize gender fluidity in civil documents, or, at the very least, give transgenders the option to choose "undisclosed" under gender.
Conservatives, meanwhile, fear Dukcapil's pledge to not discriminate against transgender people represents a stepping stone to LGBTQ+ legalization and acceptance in Indonesia.