Senn van Beek has sued the Dutch State for a violation of the right to private life and unequal treatment. Senn is a non-binary transgender person: hheir gender identity does not match the sex assigned to them at birth. Senn identifies neither as a man nor as a woman. That is why, like many other transgender persons, they want their gender identity to be recognized and their name and gender registration adjusted accordingly.
However, there is no procedure in the Netherlands to register an 'X' as a gender, because the non-binary gender identity does not exist under the law. Although Senn has been living as a non-binary person for years, they are still forced to register with the name and gender assigned to them at birth. In doing so, th State denies Senns identity: the core of their personal life. This is a serious limitation of Senns freedom to determination of their own identity, and therefore a violation of the right to private life, as laid down in art. 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights. Moreover, the treatment is discriminatory, because there is an accessible and effective procedure for binary transgender persons to register their gender identity. Senn does not have a similar option.
In November 2021, the State promised to look into the possibilities, but stated that it was up to the new cabinet that had yet tot take office to take decisions on the subject. When asked after the new cabinet had taken office, the State was not willing to confirm that it would recognize Senns non-binary gender identity and establishing an effective and accessible procedure for registering that identity. Senn therefore saw no other option than to go to court. Senn has asked the court to rule that the State is infringing their fundamental rights, and to order the State to end this wrongful situation.
Senn van Beek is assisted in these proceedings by lawyer Elles ten Vergert.