Written evidence submitted by Marples (GRA0068)
I am writing this evidence as a citizen of the United Kingdom who is concerned about the rate of suicide among transgender people and believes the outdated Gender Recognition Act of 2004 is partly to blame for this statistic, as it forces all transgender people through an insane amount of pressure and abuse to acquire legal gender affirmation that is afforded to all cis gendered individuals like myself at birth. The governments current proposals are, at best, a token gesture to improve their image. Specifically their second proposal to ‘reduce the fee from £140 to a “nominal amount” ‘is simply not good enough. Cis gendered individuals do not have to pay for their gender at birth, so any fee, no matter how small is a testament to the ongoing discrimination by the government.
In my opinion, the Scottish Government’s proposed bill is a much more suitable alternative and the government should seek to incorporate this bill across the entirety of the United Kingdom. Its propositions like reducing the age at which one can apply for a GRC to 16 and reducing the requirement for living in their acquired gender prior to receiving the GRC from 2 years to 3 months are well justified by their report and would reduce the pressure of having to justify one’s identity multiple times to receive legal acceptance. Their proposed bill will also ensure that people will not try to take advantage of the system for the wrong reasons, which should put those who are concerned at ease. I believe these changes will reduce the discrepancy between the number of GRC applications and the number of people who identify as transgender as it would actually create a “kinder and more straight forward” approach and I implore the UK Government to adopt the Scottish Government’s proposed bill.