New gender recognition act: a step in the right direction


Sweden has a new gender recognition act. This was a fact after the final vote was held in Swedish Parliament on April 17.

After nearly 17 years of public investigations and different law proposals Sweden now has a new gender identity law. The Swedish parliament, Riksdagen, voted in favor of the Social Committee’s bill Improved opportunities to change gender.

The new law is not based on self-identification when changing legal gender, but it is a welcome step that can contribute to increased personal safety and security for transgender people. Today it can take five to eight years for trans people to get a new legal gender. The new law is expected to shorten that time significantly and means that life no longer will be put on pause for trans people waiting for a change of legal gender. Gender-affirming care will get a lightened administrative burden, and waiting times can therefore also be reduced.

– It is a welcome step in the right direction to strengthen the rights of transgender people and a recognition for everyone who has been waiting for decades for a new law, says Peter Sidlund Ponkala, chairman of RFSL.

– It’s about time we got a new act. This reform will make life better for our members. Going forward, we are pushing to strengthen gender-affirming care, to introduce a third legal gender and to ban conversion attempts, says Elias Fjellander, chairman of RFSL Ungdom.

RFSL will continue to push for legal gender change to be based entirely on self-identification and for people’s right to legal recognition of their gender identity to be fully respected, just as in the over ten European countries that have already modernized legal gender change.

Short about the new gender recognition act:
– The old gender recognition act, from 1972, is now being replaced by new, more modern legislation.
– Changing legal gender should no longer require a diagnosis but only a certificate from a doctor, it is expected to make the process easier.
– The age limit for changing legal gender is lowered and, with the new law, can be done from 16 years, with the guardian’s approval.