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More Swedes want to have a sex change

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More Swedes want to have a sex change
More Swedes apply for sex changes. Photo: Shutterstock
07:00 CET+01:00
More and more Swedes want to change their sex. A new law and fewer taboos convinced around 600 people to visit the country's six surgeries last year.

“Talking about transsexuality is not as taboo any more,” a psychologist from the surgery in Lund, Amara Rådman, told broadcaster SVT.

Lund in southern Sweden was the first town to open a sex change surgery in the mid-1970s. At the turn of the new millennium it had only around ten clients, numbers that have grown radically. Last year they welcomed almost 100 patients.

A change to a controversial Swedish law in 2013 gave everyone the right to legally change their sex without being forced to undergo sterilization.

Sterilized transsexuals sue Swedish government

Attila Fazekas, doctor at the Lund surgery, said in an interview with SVT: “The new law made many people make up their minds. But we also have a different kind of openness in society today.”

Sweden, a country known for its gender neutrality and tolerance, was not always as open as it is today. Many of the patients are older people, who when they grew up in the 1950s or 1960s did not dare to mention to anyone that they wanted to change their sex.

“They have not been able to tell anyone, not their family, their partner or their colleagues,” said Fazekas.

Rådman added: “They have felt very lonely, that they had themselves to blame, that nobody else was like them. But now they want to have their sex change before they die.”

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