In the wake of recent news that nonbinary people in Iceland can now register their correct gender with the National Registry, one wrinkle in this news has attracted the criticism of Trans Iceland: the cost.
As reported, the passage of Iceland’s gender determination law in 2019 legally required the National Registry to allow the registration of the nonbinary gender marker; in this case, X. About a year and a half later, the Registry put this into effect.
However, the cost of this registration, 9,000 ISK, is being criticised by Trans Iceland as prohibitively too high, in a statement posted to Facebook to that effect.
“It is unacceptable that trans people need to pay for such corrections, and it is an important matter of justice that trans people have unhindered access to such changes,” the statement reads in part.
Trans Iceland correctly points out that the fee can hit trans people especially hard as, for one, “trans people are more likely to have difficulties finding work, housing and attending school due to discrimination and prejudice”. In addition, there is the cost of having to completely renew all of their legal ID documents, such as passports and driver’s licenses. On top of this, there are the costs trans people must incur as a part of their transition, such as hormone replacement therapy and other processes that are not completely covered by health insurance.
“A special fee is being placed here on a very vulnerable group who are looking to correct their registration, and it is unacceptable for a government institution to charge them for such changes,” the statement concludes. “Trans Iceland implores the National Registry to do away with this fee at once.”
Trans Iceland adds that they and the National Queer Organisation have sent a request and are awaiting an answer. In the meantime, those trans people who cannot pay for this fee are encouraged to get in touch with Trans Iceland, as they will “see to it that trans people can get access to changing [their registration] unhindered.”
UPDATE, 16:21: In an update posted by Trans Iceland, the National Registry replied saying they understand that the cost has been criticised as high, but that the money goes to the government treasury; not to the Registry. As such, the Registry has no power to eliminate the cost. Trans Iceland is now setting up a special fund for trans people who require financial assistance to register their proper name and gender marker. They are also working to update existing laws to make matters easier.
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