News | Sweden | Transgender

Man Asks for Help, Says Swedish Government Forcing Him to Get Sterilized for Being Transgender: VIDEO


The Swedish Government mandates forced sterilization of any trangender person who wants to legally change his or her gender.

Love Georg Elfvelin, a 21 year old store manager in Sweden, explains, in a new video:

"I'm trans. That means I am born in a female body but my heart says I'm a man. I'm speaking out today because the Swedish government is forcing thousands of people like me to make an impossible choice. If I need to change the gender of my identity cards to reflect my true self, just a small change from an 'F' to an 'M', my country forces me to be sterilized."


Activist group AllOut adds, in a release:

If you are a transgender person in Sweden wanting to change your legal gender, you are forced to undergo surgery that will render you permanently infertile and unable to have children in the future. That's right: in 2012, Swedish law still mandates forced sterilization in order to do something as simple as changing the gender on your driver's license.

Despite a massive push to repeal the law, including support from 90% of Swedish MPs, Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt has stayed silent on the issue: allowing one small conservative party to block the change.

Right now a reform of the law is being debated in Sweden. We need a massive show of support across Sweden and Europe that finally convinces PM Reinfeldt to speak out and break the deadlock.

AllOut encourages you to sign the petition HERE.

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  1. I am not understanding what's going on here... If one's body tells them they are male, WHY THE HELL WOULD THEY EVER WANT TO GIVE BIRTH!? Males don't do that. Just like a woman to want it all minus the consequences.

    Posted by: RGB | Jan 20, 2012 1:49:20 PM

  2. I smell a rat. This is TOTALLY out of character for the Swedish government. I just don't believe we have the whole story here.

    Posted by: Stick | Jan 20, 2012 1:54:51 PM

  3. I hope the story is not true and if it is I hope that the law is repealed. But either way, it has nothing to do with gay people and it is wrong for Towleroad to constantly post stories about people who want to surgically correct their bodies as if that has anything to do with what gay people do. Stop promoting stereotypes, Towleroad.

    Posted by: Mike | Jan 20, 2012 1:57:47 PM

  4. Poor baby. Hey, Swede, the deal is this: you wanna be a man? Well, real men don't get pregnant.

    Posted by: jamal49 | Jan 20, 2012 2:08:56 PM

  5. @STICK, If you think this is out of character for the Swedish government then you are ignorant of the reality.
    Swedes have a self-image that they try to spread that is at odds with the actual situation.
    Eugenic ideas had a role in this, but there were also economic reasons. In the latter part of the last century many European newspapers carried stories of forced sterilisations in Norway, Finland, Denmark, Austria and Belgium, as well as Sweden, but the Swedes had the highest per capita rate of forced sterilisations.
    The Swedish concept of folkhem was the foundation of decades of peaceful labor relations, far-reaching social reforms and unprecedented economic growth.

    The dark side to this model was the harsh demand for conformity. People who didn't conform to the ideal were not welcome. This included the disabled, and even in some cases, women judged to be too promiscuous were sterilised.

    Sweden is changing, but there are still laws like this on the books that are a leftover of harsher times.

    Posted by: Urmensch | Jan 20, 2012 2:12:20 PM

  6. This topic has no relation to me or my interests as a gay man and continued coverage of such issues will diminish, significantly, the frequency of my visits.

    Posted by: Brian | Jan 20, 2012 2:13:57 PM

  7. Every state in the US has different rules for changing your gender legally. This is no different than what some states require (e.g., full "bottom" surgery), whereas in New York, no surgery is required, just letters from doctors.

    Posted by: QJ201 | Jan 20, 2012 2:13:58 PM

  8. If you believe you are "male" really truly in your heart of hearts then you can't get pissed if someone calls you on it and asks you to remove your female ovaries.

    This makes me think that maybe, deep down they aren't sure that their body is "wrong".

    I don't believe people feel male or female. Our bodies look a certain way, but our minds are infinite and infinitely different. If more people were allowed to think outside the box as to what defines men and women culturally we wouldn't have people forcing their bodies into uncomfortable surgeries and hormone therapies.

    Women can dress like society says men should dress and like women (or men) and vice versa. People believe they have to physically and on paper "change gender" because they gravitate to CULTURAL identifications of gender.

    This whole debate will either set the feminist debate back millions of years--okay, well thousands by saying the female gender is all about lipstick, liking pink, high heels, liking boys, and wanting to play with dolls and that only "men" are allowed to like short hair, sports, girls, etc.

    I wish we would just allow people to be individuals and then no one would be confused about "what they are"...because they would be themselves.

    You don't need labels to be "you".

    Posted by: Rin | Jan 20, 2012 2:16:20 PM

  9. So... socialist model Sweden might not be Utopia after all?

    Mike and Brian, this story has relevance to the T in LGBT, as well as to friends and allies of the T.

    Jamal49, your comments are consistently ignorant, and you of all people have no credibility to determine what makes a man.

    Posted by: Max | Jan 20, 2012 2:24:07 PM

  10. The previous comments chill my heart.
    Here's an old but I think very appropriate saying regarding the "nothing to do with me" attitude I perceive:
    When they came for the Jews, I did nothing, for I am not a Jew. When they came for the Socialists, I did nothing, for I am not a Socialist. When they came for the labor leaders, the homosexuals, the gypsies, I did nothing, for I am none of these, and when they came for me, I was alone, there was no one to stand up for me.

    Posted by: Philippe Landman | Jan 20, 2012 2:24:46 PM

  11. I'm really tired of being bombarded constantly on this site with transexual issues and problems. They have their own dedicated sites, but apparently the gays (oh I'm sorry the LGBT's) cannot do the same.

    Posted by: cranky1 | Jan 20, 2012 2:25:29 PM

  12. He is the cutest transgender I have seen so far. Adorable. And those eyes. Ooh la la. He is definitely a man trapped in a woman's body. And that man has broken out.

    Posted by: Markus | Jan 20, 2012 2:27:28 PM

  13. I don't get this story either. S(he) wants to be legally recognized as a man, but wants to keep female reproductive organs that produce female hormones and continue to keep her body female? I understand there is often a disconnect between sex and gender, but usually a person seeks surgery and hormone therapy in an attempt to align their sex to their gender. Sounds like s(he) wants to have her cake and eat it too. One can't be biologically female AND want to STAY biologically female, and legally call herself a man.

    Posted by: Brian | Jan 20, 2012 2:27:55 PM

  14. Furthermore, Towleroad, the headline here is totally misleading!

    Posted by: Brian | Jan 20, 2012 2:29:09 PM

  15. Since apparently it needs said, there are some of us gay men that come here that are interested in and supportive of trans issues. I don't know why so many people feel the need to segregate their own personal issues from those of trans people, but please stop acting like it is only your personal pet issues that matter.

    Posted by: ryan | Jan 20, 2012 2:45:17 PM

  16. First of all, some of the comments above are just ridiculous - its' 'LGBT', not 'LGB and T somewhere completely segregated away and out of sight'.

    Secondly, I expect to find draconian laws like this in a Theocracy or 3rd world banana republic - but Sweden is neither of those things, and I'm completely shocked that a progressive nation would harbor such a law.

    Posted by: Ozymandias71 | Jan 20, 2012 2:58:13 PM

  17. To those who ask why would he want to keep his ovaries if he wants to become a male, surely that is beside the point.
    Why should the government have the final say over what one does with ones own body.

    Perhaps in the future he will want children that are biologically connected to him. Using his own egg, with a surrogate if he identifies as gay, or even giving birth himself should be his decision.
    What does it matter that biologically born men cannot get pregnant or give birth? Nature is not some god whose laws have to be obeyed. We break with nature all the time.
    Claiming that ethical conclusions can be drawn from nature is a form of the naturalistic fallacy, and saying it is somehow not right for him to not want to be sterilised is just another version of this.

    Posted by: Urmensch | Jan 20, 2012 2:59:32 PM

  18. CRANKY and MIKE are tired of Towleroad posting stories about transgender issues. Really!? Now that some rights are trickling in for you and your loved ones, you are not willing to champion the rights for transgender people?

    Obviously there are gay people who are no better than straight people, who are not concerned with equality, as long as they are not the ones being denied.

    Apart from CRANKY and MIKE Transphobic rants, the idea of a transgendered man keeping his uterus is total BS, like having it both ways. Men do not have uterus' . . . mmmkay?

    Posted by: Ricco | Jan 20, 2012 3:00:48 PM

  19. who are all those posters and what are they doing here? did they get lost on their way to

    Posted by: bandanajack | Jan 20, 2012 3:01:24 PM

  20. I think what the government is saying is that if you want us to legally change your gender then you have to have gender reassignment surgery. In Sweden I wouldn't be surprised if this is covered by you health insurance. Infertility is a by-product of gender reassignment surgery. It would seem to me a misnomer and inflammatory to call this sterilization. Someday they might be doing penis and womb transplants. They've done faces.

    I am quite old (over 60) and really don't understand this thing about people who say they are transgender but they don't want to have gender reassignment surgery. I was discussing this with an acquaintance who is transgender (and had surgery many many years ago) and she told me she can't understand this either. So understanding this is likely an age thing. I am definitely too old to spare any outrage over this.

    Posted by: Charlie | Jan 20, 2012 3:06:22 PM

  21. I'm actually rather embarrassed by some of the comments on this post. This website is already very skewed towards gay/white/male/cisgendered interests; these interests are also my own.

    I do, however, very much value the support that my trans friends have given myself and the queer community as a whole. I am happy to use my place as a (relatively) more privileged member of society to reciprocate the support that they provide for us. This is the same support that we gay white men have received from our straight allies. It's been enormously important in our ability to live freely, and I feel it's the least we can do to pay it forward.

    Posted by: Jacob Wolkenhauer | Jan 20, 2012 3:06:34 PM

  22. Thank you Andy for posting about this.

    As a gay man I am interested in knowing when people are being sterilized for not conforming with the sexual majority. I think people need to remember that it wasn't too long ago that men were chemically castrated for being gay.

    What I don't like are comments on posts from people who don't see why other people should be able to live their lives without giving up a part of who they are. I'm not transgendered so I am not sure, but living as a man isn't just about what parts you have but what image you project into society. Why should he be labeled a female simply because he doesn't want to be sterilized when it would preclude any chance of having a biological child of his own, which for some people is important.

    So thanks again for bringing light to this issue. Even though it affects someone else in some far off place, I know that it could have been me if I was born in an earlier time.

    Posted by: Paul | Jan 20, 2012 3:08:19 PM

  23. I still do not understand how T got lumped in with me. Is it now LGBTQ? I am not saying that I don't agree that these are valid concerns for the T group but the equation of gender reassignment issues with my same sex relationships borders on saying that my issues need 'correction' as well.

    I do not like it.

    Posted by: Brian | Jan 20, 2012 3:20:17 PM

  24. I'm sorry, but I do not see the issue here. The laws here in Sweden states that if you want to change gender, then you actually have to change gender. With surgery. So, no you can't become male and still keep your ovaries and vagina... that's not what a man is.

    Now I can see that there could be outrage if you want to have transgendered in your ID or passport and this is denied. But if you want to be a gender, you have to be that gender.

    Posted by: Thimmy | Jan 20, 2012 3:21:19 PM

  25. I care about transgendered folks and I wish them the best as far as equality etc.. but i don't have anything in common with them and I don't read gay blogs to read about them either!

    Posted by: Locutus of Board | Jan 20, 2012 3:50:11 PM

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