Sakris Kupila has never identified as a woman. Yet the 21-year-old medical student must endure daily embarrassment because his identity documents say he is female.
Sakris was a teenager when he realised that the gender he was given at birth didn’t express who he is. He chose a new name – which is considered male – but under Finnish law people are not allowed names of another gender. Sakris had to be diagnosed with a “mental disorder” to keep his name.
This was Sakris’ first step towards legal recognition of who he is. But to have your gender reassigned in Finland, you must be diagnosed with a “mental disorder” and sterilised. Such requirements are a stain on Finland’s reputation for openness and tolerance.