It's Time To Legally Recognise A Third Gender, A Dutch Court Has Ruled

A Dutch citizen has broken ground by becoming the first person in the Netherlands to be allowed to register as neither a man or a woman, with judges urging lawmakers to recognise a "third gender".

The Limburg District Court in Roermond ruled on Monday that the unnamed plaintiff can now legally be recorded as "gender undetermined" on their birth certificate, as opposed to male or female.

(Photo: Caleb Woods via Unsplash)

"At birth in 1961, this person's gender could not be determined and the parents decided to register the person as male to make things easier at the time," the court said in a statement.

In 2001, the person in question had treatment to become a woman and had successfully applied to have their gender officially changed to female.

The plaintiff, however, later sought to be listed as a "third gender" - as neither male nor female.

"It turned out the female gender did not fit the person - whose personality is experienced as gender-neutral," the court explains, "feeling neither like a man nor a woman."

A similar request by a different person to have authorities include a third, gender-neutral entry in the birth register was turned down in 2007 but the Netherlands' High Council.

But considering "social and legal developments, the time is ripe for the recognition of a third gender," the judges said, "It's now up to the lawmakers."

Transgender activists have hailed the ruling as a revolutionary step in Dutch law.

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