Man Named after His Grandma Sigríður

Vala Hafstað

“This is a total victory; my name is Sigríður Hlynur!” states Sigríður Hlynur Helguson Snæbjörnsson, the first man in Iceland allowed to take a female name (Sigríður) after a gender autonomy act was passed by Alþingi, the Icelandic parliament, last month, mbl.is reports.

With the passing of the law, names have become gender-neutral, so that a woman can now choose to take a man’s name and a man a woman’s name.

The main purpose of the new law, however, is to give individuals the legal right to change their official gender registration, according to their personal gender identity, without requiring a diagnosis of gender dysphoria or medical treatment. Besides, people in Iceland are now allowed to officially register their gender neutrally - that is, as neither male nor female.

“I received an email this morning. This is through!” Sigíður Hlynur continues. This is how his name is now registered in Registers Iceland, whereas before, he used to be registered as Sigurður Hlynur. Now, he is named after his grandmother. Any man can now take a man’s name and any man a woman’s, although the law was enacted with genderqueer people in mind. 

“I’m delighted. I got exactly what I wished. It took a while, but good things happen slowly – right?” Sigríður Hlynur remarks. “This is victory for individual liberty,” he continues. “Of course the law was not enacted for me, but for other groups, such as trans persons and genderqueer people, and my change is a side effect of this. The main issue in this regard is that numerous people are now allowed to have their own names.”

Sigríður Hlynur was busy harvesting hay when mbl.is reached him. “Now, I must get back to haymaking. I’m  Sigríður when harvesting hay,” Sigríður Hlynur remarks. Most of the time, though, he goes by the name of Hlynur. Who knows whether he will start using the name Sigríður in daily life or on special occasions?

Morgunblaðið reports that yesterday morning, Registers Iceland had so far received a total of three applications to change a person’s name to one previously only given to a person of the opposite sex, according to Margrét Hauksdóttir, director if Registers Iceland. One of those was from Sigríður Hlynur. Margrét reports that ten applications have been received from people who wish to change how their gender is registered. All but one of those also requested a name change. 

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