Cross-dressing Swedish man can be named Madeleine

Jan-Olov Ågren, a male cross-dresser from Norrbotten in northern Sweden, has been handed a victory by the county administrative court in his bid to go by the name Madeleine.

Ågren has a penchant for dressing up in women’s clothing and when he does, he likes to go by the name Madeleine, reports the Norrbottens-Kuriren newspaper

But the Swedish Tax Agency (Skatteverket) had previously rejected Ågren’s application to have his name changed to Jan-Olov Madeleine Ågren on the grounds that it’s not appropriate for a man to have a woman’s name.

In its ruling, the court said the 45 year law on which the decision was based was outdated, something which took Ågren by surprise.

“I didn’t really expect this to happen,” he said to Norrbottens-Kuriren.

“I’ve already received a letter from the Road Administration saying that since I have a new name I need to get a new drivers licence.”

But Ågren is trying to temper his enthusiasm until he knows whether or not the Tax Agency will appeal the decision.

He explains that the administrative court of appeals may be more prone to holding on to “old stereotypes”.

“If the Tax Agency appeals, it’s not clear which way it could go. And they’ve appealed these sorts of ruling before,” he said.

As a result, he’s waiting with changing the rest of his official documents, lest his new name be taken away, and instead enjoying the less tangible aspects of the ruling.

“What’s important is the general feeling of having the right to a name which I’ve always considered by own,” he said.