From Iceland — Prime Minister Answers Question On How Many Genders There Are

Prime Minister Answers Question On How Many Genders There Are

Published August 26, 2021

Andie Sophia Fontaine
Photo by
Baldur Web

Last July, chair of the Centre Party Sigmundur Davíð Gunnlaugsson formally asked Prime Minister Katrín Jakobsdóttir how many genders there are, and requested an answer in writing. Yesterday, he got one.

Katrín cited the 2019 gender determination law, which unambiguously codified the individual’s right to define their own gender.

Part of this law allows for nonbinary individuals in Iceland to register themselves in the National Registry by the gender marker X, which officially went into effect last January.

As such, Katrín’s statement concludes, “genders, according to the law, are no longer two, woman and man, but an open definition of the legal concept that there are more genders than this.”

As the Grapevine covered in our current cover story on nonbinary people in Iceland, “[f]ar from being a recent trend or fad, nonbinary gender identities have existed in many cultures around the world for millenia, with examples of such including the ‘Yan Daudu of sub-Saharan Africa, the Nádleehi of the Navajo people and the Fa’afafine of Samoa, to name just a few.

“The ‘recentness’ of nonbinary gender identities in Europe and North America is only relative to most Eurocentric cultures. For many cis people in these countries, and even for many binary trans people, nonbinary people are a ‘new’ concept that they are just now beginning to know.”

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