In July last year, the chairman of the Center Party, Sigmundur Davíð Gunnlaugsson, formally asked Prime Minister Katrín Jakobsdóttir what gender he was, and asked for a written answer.
In her response, Katrín referred to the 2019 Gender Determination Act, which unequivocally codified an individual’s right to determine their gender.
Part of this law allows non-binary people in Iceland to register with the national registry using their gender X, which officially entered into force last January.
Katrín’s statement concludes by stating that “by law, gender is an open-ended definition of the legal concept and that there are more than two genders.”
Non-binary gender identities have existed in many cultures around the world over the millennia, including ‘yan daudu from Sub-Saharan Africa, nádleehi from the Navajo people, and fa’afafine from Samoa to name a few.
The novelty of non-binary gender identities in Europe and North America is relative to most Eurocentric cultures.
For many cis people in these countries, and even for many binary trans people, non-binary people are a new concept that they are only now beginning to explore.