German becomes first person in Spain with non-binary status on ID

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The High Court of Justice of Andalusia has ruled in favour of Andrea Speck, stating that the ministry should put “indeterminate gender” on their identity papers in Spain.

Speck finally won the legal battle that has lasted for five years ever since the German national realised that they appeared as a ‘man’ in Spain’s Central Registry of Foreigners.

This lawsuit against the Spanish State and subsequent ruling now opens the door for the Interior Ministry to allow a third box for people to check when they choose their gender, stating “indeterminate” as well as man and woman.  

“I am elated by the sentence, but I feel that the political and educational work begins now, it is an opportunity for the recognition of non-binary people,” Speck told newspaper El País. 

“It has been a long and difficult road, with many problems, the first of which is the lack of references, neither in the media nor in my close circle. In the process, you’re always alone.”  

In February 2023, Spain’s trans law was finally approved by the government, allowing anyone 16 and over to change their gender on their ID card with a simple declaration.  

Despite aiming to help trans people, the law did not legally recognise non-binary people or give them the opportunity to select no gender.  

READ ALSO: Spanish senate gives green light to new trans law

Speck was originally unsuccessful when bringing the case forward to the courts. The judge in question ruled that Spanish legislation did not admit the official reference to another sex other than that of man or woman and therefore a German citizen could not appear as X or “Indeterminate” in the police records for foreigners.

Speck managed to appeal the sentence and the courts finally granted the appeal, saying that ultimately it was confusing because Speck already had ‘Indeterminate’ on their passport and in the German civil registry. They requested “uniformity in the information extracted from personal and other data requested from abroad”.  


Speck’s lawyer, Olga Burgos, who specialises in gender equality issues, considers the ruling to be “pioneering” in Europe.  

The truth is that third non-binary check boxes for official documents are already in place in European countries such as Germany, the Netherlands and Austria, as well as Argentina, India, New Zealand and Canada.

Burgos explained that the registry is central and the form will now have to be modified, forcing the police to create a new box in the database. “The sentence creates a legal precedent for other people. The breach has been crossed and any other person will have a legitimate right” to request it, she said.  


Darko Decimavilla, president of the Non Binaries Association of Spain, believes that the sentence marks a before and after, and now plans on submitting an application to register as a non-binary person at the Madrid civil registry.  

“The resolution opens a way for a third gender to be recognised and exist. We will reach out to the Supreme Court and to Europe if the civil registry denies it” they explain.

For now, only the Canary Islands, La Rioja and Navarra have included non-binary people in the trans or LGTBIQ+ laws they have, according to Decimavilla.