Church in Norway marks name change for transgender person

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7/18/21

A Lutheran church in Norway has held a name change ceremony for a 49-year-old transgender person in what officials said marked the first such event in a place of worship in the Nordic country. Elin Stillingen lived the first 40 years of her life as a man and legally changed her name and gender last year. She marked the occasion at Saturday’s ceremony at the medieval Hoff church north of the Norwegian capital, Oslo. Stillingen said it was particularly important for her that the event took place in a church. “I’m a member of the Norwegian church, and I’m also about to come ‘out of the closet’ as a Christian, so this ceremony is important to me,” Stillingen told Norwegian broadcaster TV2 ahead of the ceremony Saturday. The occasion was led by pastor Stein Ovesen who planned the ceremony with the Stensveen Foundation, a Norwegian non-governmental organization supporting people with gender identity and sexual orientation issues.

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