First Dutch citizen to be legally recognized as gender neutral

Leonne Zeegers, 57 years old, was born intersex, and, up until 2011, had lived life as a male. However, even after sex reassignment surgery, Zeegers didn't feel right fully female. 

Lara Bullens
Lara Bullens NewsMavens, Western Europe
First Dutch citizen to be legally recognized as gender neutral - NewsMavens
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Why this story matters:

Zeegers is the first Dutch citizen to become legally recognised as gender-neutral. While some European countries (Germany, for example) recognise an "indeterminate" sex on birth certificates, many intersex people feel social pressure to pick an "official" sex. 

Zeegers was declared and raised as a male and went through surgery to become legally recognized as a female in 2011. Despite this, the court ruled that Zeegers' “personality is experienced as gender-neutral, feeling like neither a man nor a woman.”

In an interview with The Guardian, Zeegers hit the nail on the head saying: 

“Sex is between your legs, gender is between your ears”

According to Zeegers, gender-fluidity is much more commonplace and accepted than the notion of a third sex. Zeegers is now fighting for the Dutch court to recognize a third sex, not only a third gender. 

Details from the story:

  • Zeegers is comfortable being addressed with female pronouns, rather than the gender-neutral “they” or “them”, but sees herself as being gender-fluid
  • She owned and ran Paradise, one of Breda’s (a city in the south of the Netherlands) biggest BDSM clubs
  • Zeegers had to provide mountains of evidence to the court, including extremely personal and explicit anatomy shots 
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Paula Szewczyk
Paula SzewczykWysokie Obcasy, Europe
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