Dutch judges call for third gender in Netherlands

Several European nations recognize a third gender. Soon the Netherlands may join them.

On May 28, a Dutch court said that the government of Holland should give legal recognition to a third gender, a neutral one.

The ruling was praised by Dutch trans advocates.

A recent legal case centered on a person who could not be positively identified as belonging to either female or male categories. (The individual’s name has not been released to the public.)

The person aimed to change their birth certificate’s gender descriptor.

When the person was born in 1961, they were registered as “male.” Forty years later, in 2001, the person began their transition to female. However, the person decided that the female descriptor would no longer suit them, and asked for a neutral descriptor, since they felt neither like a man or women. This third gender, called “X,” was approved by the court.

The court called upon the government of the Netherlands to provide a legal amendment to this end. A prior campaign seeking legal recognition for a third gender was attempted in 2007, and then was rejected by the highest court of the Netherlands.

If the Netherlands does legally recognize a third gender, they will join the countries of Germany, Australia, Nepal, India, and Bangladesh.