Posted on 3. June 2014 in Country Information

Sweden: Court tells Psychologist to respect client’s choice of pronoun


The psychologist questioned Robin’s wish to be referred to as “hen”. Then Robin was denied continued care at the psychiatric clinic because no one felt that they had LGBTQ competence. The Gothenburg Rights Center says that psychiatrists are obliged to provide care for all, and sued the Region of Västra Götaland for discrimination against transgender.

In the spring of 2012, Robin had a difficult life crisis and was offered counseling at a psychiatric clinic. The psychologist was told that the therapy was not about Robin being transgender. After a few months of therapy Robin asked the psychologist to use the pronoun “hen” or “he”. The psychologist could not accept this, and began to question Robin’s gender identity. The psychologist said that in her view there are only men and women and that she could only see Robin as a woman. Robin asked for a change of psychologist to someone that could professionally work with transgender individuals, and was told that no one at the clinic wanted to take the case because no one felt that they had LGBTQ competence. Two years later, Robin still has not received continued treatment.

“I sought psychiatric care because I did not feel well and needed help,” says Robin. “I didn’t think there would be any problems because I am transgender. All I asked for was to be respected for who I am.”

Robin asked the Gothenburg Human Rights Center for help to explain to the psychiatry clinic that they are obliged to offer all people care. Discrimination on the basis of gender identity has been prohibited since 2009 and psychiatrists cannot deny someone care because they feel unfamiliar with transgendered persons. The Region of Västra Götaland that is responsible for the psychiatry clinic has apologized but refused to compensate Robin. Therefore, the Gothenburg Human Rights Center files a lawsuit on May 12, 2014 for discrimination compensation.

Robin is a fictitious name.


Contact information:
Erik Mägi , lawyer and Robin’s Agent
0702-42 44 60
Erik.magi @
031-788 44 20 (phone Tuesdays 13:30 to 16:30 )
0702-42 44 60

Erik.magi @