In accordance with a law on gender determination passed by Parliament over a year ago, Icelandic companies and offices now have six months to make changes to their registration systems, which includes providing gender options beyond just “male” or “female”.
The initiative to encourage and advise Icelandic institutions on making these changes is being led by the National Queer Organisation, who have posted an easy-to-follow guide on their home page.
This law pertains not only to private companies, but also to government offices that issue official documents such as passports and other IDs. This includes having passports and other such public documents offering X, in addition to M and F, and where applicable, other institutions are reminded to start offering male, female, nonbinary, other, and the option to decline to answer.
“We realised this summer that there were likely a great many who aren’t aware that this [part of the gender determination law] goes into effect after six months, and that this can be troublesome for many companies and institutions to add these options, due to their computer systems and such,” Þorbjörg Þorvaldsdóttir, the director of the National Queer Organisation, told Rás 1 this morning. “We wanted to get into gear and encourage people to get their systems in order.”
Ugla Stefanía Kristjönudóttir Jónsdóttir, the director of Trans Iceland, added that these five options provide greater inclusion, and that these options “effectively allow for people to not have their gender specifically registered”. As she explains, gender is a multi-faceted concept, and it can be difficult to define every possible gender identity in a few words.
Þorbjörg goes on to say that proper options for gender registration make a great difference in ensuring everyone has equal access to public spaces. She posits a hypothetical to help people understand the importance of these additional options beyond the traditional binary:
“I can imagine being a cis woman who gets only two options for gender registration, and they would be male or male, and she needs to pick one,” she says. “That would be incredibly uncomfortable, and a bit strange.”
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