Swedish law demands that transgender people undergo sterilization if they seek to legally update their gender.

Swedish law demands that transgender people undergo sterilization if they seek to legally update their gender.

Super model Lea T, one transgender individual society has paid attention to...

So much for liberal etiquette. Then again what did you expect from society that may or may not seek to pacify patriarchal convoluted notions of who counts for a male or as a woman?

Mother Jones has come out with an article examining a little known Swedish law from 1972 that mandates transgender people seeking to update their gender on official papers to both get divorced and sterilized. Brief pause. Yes, sterilized…

Whilst Sweden has a wide liberal constituency that applaud gay rights and support same sex marriage, the ruling Christian Democrat party has with the help of other conservative and powerful political bodies been able to ward off the demands of a wide public demand to repeal the law, instead settling for an impending compromise that would allow people to undergo gender reassignment and to still be married. The proposed law though would still stipulate sterilization.

Says Boris Dittrich, advocacy director of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Program at Human Rights Watch:

“When trans people can’t present official identification matching their preferred gender presentation, they can suffer “frequent public humiliation, vulnerability to discrimination, and great difficulty finding or holding a job,”

This comes in the face of Sweden’s reported history of seeking to perpetuate and perfect it’s ‘perfect stock,’ having forced up to 60 000 people from 1935- 76, along with transgender persons, ‘mixed race individuals,’ single mothers with many children, deviants, Gypsies, and other ‘vagabonds,” to neutralize their sexual organs.

But in case you sit there smugly smiling that your country would never do this or has been complicit in this type of behavior think again:

From the US: On January 10, a North Carolina state task force approved a one-time payment of $50,000 for survivors of a little-known state-run eugenics program that sterilized an estimated 7,600 residents between 1929 and 1974. 

But here’s the hiccup in the US that is causing a great degree of consternation in the community: While the United States doesn’t force sterilization for trans people, most states require a surgeon’s letter verifying proof of “surgical treatment” in order to legally change gender on identification.

Of course the only caveat to this maddening demand is how does one define ‘surgical treatment?” Does that imply total organ re identification? Partial re identification? Growth of breasts? Or the taking of one’s breasts off in an effort to perpetuate one’s desired look to correspond to that feeling in their minds that tells them who they are, not that thing between their legs.

The ramifications couldn’t be more pronounced:

Those who don’t or can’t obtain a costly procedure or at least a surgeon’s letter are often left unable to legally change their gender, which can create serious personal and professional complications. Argues one man, Georg Elfvelin who is torn between his desire to affirm his identity but not at the expense of his sexual organs: “I can either be represented correctly, or have my basic human rights violated.”

Isn’t it lovely in our modern day the state still can have the power to define for us who our identity is and if we are to cohabitate with others in society the state has deemed the right to cut you to size. Literally….

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