Interview with King Astrid of Zealandia
Their Majesty King Astrid, known outside of Zealandia as Anna Lindstrom and formerly known as Haakon, is King of Zealandia and Governing Commissioner of the Austenasian Crown Dependency of New South Scotland.
King Astrid changed her name from Haakon after announcing earlier this year that she was female, and is the first openly transgender monarch known to have ruled in the modern era. The Austenasian Times has conducted an interview with the King:
Austenasian Times: After adopting the name Haakon a few years ago, you have recently asked to be known instead by the name of Anna. Could you tell us about your reasons behind that decision?
Yes, I changed my name to reflect my gender identification pretty much after coming out. I feel it reflects my gender more better.
You’ve previously identified as “genderqueer” – now, however, you identify as female, correct?
Yes, it was a process of working through what was inside my head.
The right to change the gender by which one is identified is included under Article XII of the Austenasian Constitution – what laws does Zealandia have regarding transgender rights?
Zealandia has a whole suite of laws for recognition of a person’s gender identity and the right to change gender and name, and to protect from discrimination, including the basic protections given in the constitution and the Gender Recognition Act 2014, which also allows a person to change their documents free of charge.
You’re the first openly transgender monarch in modern history, and your change of identity seems to have been readily accepted by many of those in the MicroWiki community. What do you think this says?
It says that the MicroWiki community is far more progressive and accepting of people than the communities outside of micronationalism. Of course there are exceptions such as Trace Fleeman, but fascists and their opinions have never mattered much to me.
Have you had much opposition to your change of identity?
Yes, both from within my family and from the wider Australian community. Members of my family have had a hard time understanding my identity, and pronouns are always a problem for them; as for the wider community, I have when dressed in feminine clothing I have been threatened with violence and had transphobic slurs hurled my way.
Do you have any plans to undergo surgery to change your appearance?
Unfortunately Medicare doesn’t cover any form of GRS [gender-reassignment surgery], so despite wanting to fix my appearance there is no way that I could afford it at the moment or for a long time. However it is important to note that surgery doesn’t make the woman or man.
Finally, as well as King of Zealandia you also serve as Governing Commissioner of New South Scotland. You recently made Swedish an official language of the Crown Dependency – is there anything else planned for New South Scotland in the near future?
With winter coming in the southern hemisphere, things are starting to get fairly quiet but no doubt I’ll come up with some exciting plans for both the Commonwealth of Zealandia and New South Scotland.
Thank you for your time, your Majesty.