News | Sweden | Transgender

Sweden Poised to End Forced Sterilization of Transgender People

Back in January, I posted a video featuring Love Georg Elfvelin, a 21 year old store manager in Sweden, who explained that the Swedish Government mandates forced sterilization of any trangender person who wants to legally change his or her gender.

Trans_swedenSaid Elfvelin, in the 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."

Over the weekend we learned from activist group AllOut that the conservative Christian Democrats - members of the governing coalition in Sweden and primary obstacle to ending the policy of forced sterilizations - reversed course and announced that they'll be supporting a ban on the practice.

"It's time to abolish the requirement for sterilization at sex change," leaders of the Christian Democrats wrote in an opinion piece published Saturday in the Swedish press.

The group adds:

More than 77,000 people all around the world took a stand, and together with activists on the ground built the international momentum that finally pushed Prime Minister Reinfeldt and party leaders to end this cruel practice. We will work hard with partners in Sweden to make sure the formal change happens as soon as possible., but thanks to your efforts we have eliminated the major obstacle to repeal.

Watch the video, if you missed it, AFTER THE JUMP...

Feed This post's comment feed


  1. Another victory in the long hard march toward justice.

    Posted by: Dave | Feb 20, 2012 9:41:17 AM

  2. how is this justice? do you have any idea what SRS surgery is? It is by nature sterilization. This actually one of the stupidest stunts I've ever heard of--he lives in a country that requires SRS to officially change his gender--a country that will pay for said SRS surgery with great surgeons through their national healthcare system. Trans people in the US should be so lucky. And "forced sterilization?" Does this kid realize that most ftm's have to remove their reproductive organs within 5-10 years of hormones anyway because of the medical problems it can cause? The hysteria over this is a joke, he's preying on people's lack of information to create a cause where there is none.

    Posted by: KDS | Feb 20, 2012 10:05:50 AM

  3. KDS doesn't come across as credible to me: Can someone in the know please rebut or reinforce KDS?

    I applaud the move away from FORCING a gender-purity fantasy most violently (and physically) on precisely tho who feel they happen to fit least into it.

    It's sad that somewhere like Sweden--generally reputed as forward thinking--inflicts such severe measures on those who don't fit their gender-purity fantasy. Maybe it parallels the fact that a place like Sweden never truly moved beyond a racial-purity fantasy???

    Posted by: just_a_guy | Feb 20, 2012 10:36:25 AM

  4. I am glad that Sweden has abolished this barbaric practice, but we really are talking about more than a simple alphabetical difference between the letters "M" and "F."

    Are we not?

    I have never heard of a man with a uterus, not even as an anomaly. It is nonsense to claim, "I a man trapped in a woman's body" while retaining your uterus.

    No one should be forced to be sterilized, but then they should NOT be allowed to identify as a man as long as they carry that most distinct female reproductive sex organ, the uterus.

    Before transitioning one can store their eggs (or sperm), or if one has the need to get pregnant, then one can remain a woman until one has satisfied their womanly need of getting pregnant before transitioning.

    But transgendered people should not be permitted to play both sides of the biological fence.

    If one wants to be a man, then one ought to MAN UP and get rid of the uterus, otherwise one is a charlatan, a liar, and worse, a mutilated female.

    Posted by: Ricco | Feb 20, 2012 10:38:15 AM

  5. Those who doubt me, please look into what SRS surgery is. This policy is not barbaric at all--it is merely that to change your gender from female to male, one must go through gender reassignment surgery. This guy wants to have his cake and eat it too--he wants to be considered male without fully transitioning. I agree that this policy would be unjust in the US where most trans people cannot afford SRS surgery (insurance doesn't generally cover it and it can cost up to $250,000). But in a country where you can transition completely as part of the national healthcare system--why should they not require this? Plus look up the facts--even ftm's who cannot afford bottom surgery, often end up getting hystorectomies because of the problems having ovaries and taking testosterone can cause. You're welcome to jump on a bandwagon just because someone can get on youtube, but he's making a fool out of everyone. Feel free to confirm what I'm saying.

    Posted by: KDS | Feb 20, 2012 12:06:15 PM

  6. Re: It is nonsense to claim, "I a man trapped in a woman's body" while retaining your uterus.

    Is that really up to you? And even if it were, it's still not your uterus.

    There are lots of transgender folk who identify as male or female regardless of what organs they have--or get rid of.

    Posted by: AdamA | Feb 20, 2012 12:11:43 PM

  7. I thought this was a blog for homosexuals?

    Posted by: Locutus of Board | Feb 20, 2012 12:53:42 PM

  8. No, it is not up to me whether or not an individual claiming to be a man trapped in a woman's body keeps or disposes with their uterus. If it were up to me, I would not be stating my opinions on Towleroad, instead making my very strong recommendations to whatever government board or commission was relevant to the issue.

    Posted by: Ricco | Feb 20, 2012 2:12:02 PM

  9. Some here on Towleroad may remember Thomas Beatie, an allegedly transgendered individual, who kept her uterus so she and her wife could have a baby.

    Thomas went on the Oprah Winfrey show and explained how she had to go off her hormones TWO years in advance of her first child to make that pregnancy possible.

    Thomas is not a transgendered man, rather an EXTREMELY butch lesbian. Thomas has appeared on the cover of Time magazine, billed as the first man to have a baby . . . STUPID . . . and several times since was featured in that magazine and several other venues as she and her lesbian wife made the talk show circuit where Thomas has the babies, and her wife breast feeds them.

    I do not think this lesbian couple are doing much for the cause of transgendered people, having their cake and eating it too.

    Posted by: Ricco | Feb 20, 2012 2:35:37 PM

  10. Well, how dare they have their cake and eat it too. *sarcasm* If women want to keep their uterus and call themselves men, I don't understand why this is such a huge problem. Why don't we just ask people what they identify as, how they prefer to be addressed, and try to comply? And why don't we let women and doctors consult and decide which procedures are best instead of legislating this type of thing? God, people are stupid.

    Posted by: Jon | Feb 21, 2012 2:07:51 AM

  11. the issue here is some trans persons do not need to have a sex change to be happy and also having their choice taken away on whether or not they can procreate is bs. that's not to mention all the queer non-binary children out there. it is punishing a man for being born in a female body and exposing thousands to unnecessary risk on the operating table. not to mention all the children forced into transgendered lives by a similar act on well meaning yet ignorant parents of hermaphrodite children who when born have been butchered and robbed of their whole body and choice. bottom line is government should never be allowed to dictate or control what happens to its citizens bodies by any means. i have seen alot of ignorance in this thread about trans people. if you aren't informed on the issues then please dont comment. you may not understand what being trans is like or how this effects peoples lives but that doesn't make it any less real for those who do understand and do have to deal with it every day.

    Posted by: Noah | Feb 28, 2012 2:51:48 AM

Post a comment


« «Chris Colfer is 'Struck by Lightning': TRAILER« «