Nonbinary Gender Registration Finally Opens In Iceland

Nonbinary Gender Registration Finally Opens In Iceland

Published January 8, 2021

Photo by
Andie Sophia Fontaine

About a year and a half since Iceland’s gender determination law established that people must be allowed to register their gender as nonbinary*, the National Registry has finally made that option available.

Before the law was passed in June 2019, only two options were made available: male or female. The National Queer Organisation, Trans Iceland, Intersex Iceland and others have for years fought for the legal recognition of those people who do not fit neatly into a binary gender. Part of the law quite specifically required Icelandic companies and administrative services to allow people to register as nonbinary, but the National Registry said that it could take 18 months or longer to update their systems.

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.

Daníel E. Arnarsson, the managing director of the National Queer Registration, told Fréttablaðið that since the National Registry opened the nonbinary registration option earlier this week, 12 people have sought to change their legal gender marker to nonbinary.

“We welcome this long-necessary change,” Daníel said. “We wish all nonbinary people heartfelt congratulations in being able to register their gender as they themselves desire.”

*For the unfamiliar, nonbinary is an umbrella term for a person whose gender identity cannot be classified as either male or female. This may mean being both in relatively equal proportions (e.g. androgynous or bigender), being both in unequal proportions (e.g. demigirl/demiboy), experiencing fluidity of two or more genders (e.g. genderqueer/genderfluid), neither (agender), or something else altogether (e.g. fae/faer). Not all non-binary people identify as trans, but they are usually regarded as a part of the trans community.

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