Owl Fisher

Ugla Stefanía Kristjönudóttir Jónsdóttir, also known as Owl Fisher, is an Icelandic journalist, filmmaker, author and non-binary trans activist.

Early lifeEdit

Fisher was born in Iceland on 6 January 1991. Fisher officially came out as transgender in 2010, and was one of the youngest people to have undergone a medical transition in Iceland.[1] Fisher's father currently leads the governing council of Húnavatnshreppur, the area in which Fisher was born and raised,[2] and has publicly written in support of them and their transition.[3]

In 2016 Fisher graduated with Master's Degree in Gender Studies from the University of Iceland.[4]

Activism and careerEdit

LGBTQIA+ activismEdit

Fisher was a founding member of HIN - Hinsegin Norðurland, an organisation for queer people in Northern Iceland in 2011. Following on from that they joined the board of Trans Iceland, and are the current chair of the organisation.[5] They were the Educational Advisor of Samtökin '78 - The National Queer Organisation from 2012-2016.[6] On an international level, they were also a board member of The International LGBTQI Queer and Student Organisation from 2014-2016.[7]

In 2016, Fisher did a TEDx Talk at TEDx Reykjavík called 'Moving Beyond the Binary of Sex and Gender', where they talked about transgender and intersex people from their own personal perspective.[1]

As chair of the organization Trans Iceland,[8] Fisher played a role in crafting legislation to expand the rights of trans and nonbinary people in Iceland. From 2015 to 2019, in collaboration with Kitty Anderson of Intersex Iceland and with Icelandic lawmakers, they helped develop the Gender Autonomy Act which was passed in June 2019.[9] Fisher has criticized the final version of the bill for removing the provisions against intersex medical interventions which had originally formed part of the bill.[10]

Fisher relocated to the UK in 2016.[11] They co-direct an ongoing film project called My Genderation, highlighting trans experiences.[12] They work with All About Trans,[12] a UK organization which works to improve trans representation in media. They have contributed articles to a number of British newspapers, including The Guardian[13] and The Independent,[14] as well as to the lesbian magazine DIVA.[11] They also co-authored the book Trans Teen Survival Guide with Fox Fisher, published by Jessica Kingsley Publishers in 2018.[15]

In June 2020, Fisher and three other authors resigned in protest from the Blair Partnership literary agency also representing J.K. Rowling, when the company refused to issue a public statement of support for transgender rights, saying that "freedom of speech can only be upheld if the structural inequalities that hinder equal opportunities for underrepresented groups are challenged and changed."[16]

Political careerEdit

In 2018 and 2019, Fisher ran for parliament in Iceland on behalf of Vinstri Græn, the Green Party of Iceland. In 2019 they announced their resignation from the party after it formed a government with Sjálfstæðisflokkurinn, the Conservative Party of Iceland.[17]

RecognitionEdit

In 2015 Fisher was awarded the Science and Education award by Siðmennt, the Icelandic Humanist Association.[18]

They were named one of the BBC's 100 Women for 2019.[12]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b LeBlanc, Denique. "Ugla: Resowing history – GayIceland". Retrieved 2020-05-14.
  2. ^ Húnavatnshreppur. "Sveitarstjórn". Húnavatnshreppur (in Icelandic). Retrieved 2020-05-14.
  3. ^ Feykir. "Tíminn breytir draumum og ævintýrum í veruleika - Áskorandapenni Jón Gíslason Stóra-Búrfelli". Feykir.is (in Icelandic). Retrieved 2020-05-14.
  4. ^ Jónsdóttir 1991-, Ugla Stefanía Kristjönudóttir (June 2017). „Í hvernig nærfötum ertu núna?“ Upplifun trans fólks af transtengdri heilbrigðisþjónustu á Íslandi (Thesis thesis) (in Icelandic).
  5. ^ "Um félagið". Trans Ísland. Retrieved 2020-05-14.
  6. ^ "Ársskýrslur". Samtökin '78 (in Icelandic). Retrieved 2020-05-14.
  7. ^ "Meet IGLYO's new board members". IGLYO. 2014-11-17. Retrieved 2020-05-14.
  8. ^ Fontaine, Andie (October 16, 2019). "Icelandic Writer And Trans Activist Amongst BBC's 100 Women 2019". The Reykjavík Grapevine. Retrieved November 10, 2019.
  9. ^ Ćirić, Jelena (October 14, 2019). "Set to Rights: Iceland's New Gender Autonomy Act". Iceland Review. Retrieved November 10, 2019.
  10. ^ Fontaine, Andie (June 19, 2019). "Iceland Passes Major Gender Identity Law: "The Fight Is Far From Over"". The Reykjavík Grapevine. Retrieved November 10, 2019.
  11. ^ a b O'Hara, Mary Emily (July 2, 2018). "This Trans Activist Became a Target Just For Being in a Lesbian Magazine". them. Retrieved November 9, 2019.
  12. ^ a b c "BBC 100 Women 2019: Who is on the list this year?". Retrieved November 9, 2019.
  13. ^ "Owl Fisher". Retrieved November 9, 2019.
  14. ^ "Owl Fisher". Retrieved November 9, 2019.
  15. ^ Mathieson, Frankie. "This Trans Couple Wrote The Book They Wish They'd Had Growing Up". www.refinery29.com. Retrieved 2020-05-14.
  16. ^ Waterson, Jim (22 June 2020). "Authors quit JK Rowling agency over transgender rights". The Guardian. Retrieved 24 July 2020.
  17. ^ "Varaþingmaður og þingframbjóðandi segja sig úr Vinstri grænum". Stundin. Retrieved 2020-05-14.
  18. ^ "Viðurkenningar Siðmenntar | Siðmennt" (in Icelandic). 2015-11-27. Retrieved 2020-05-14.