Written evidence submitted by Miss Mairead Campbell (GRA0076)

Will the Government’s proposed changes meet its aim of making the process “kinder and more straight forward”?

It is a first step, but the government can and should do more to meet this aim.

Should a fee for obtaining a Gender Recognition Certificate be removed or retained? Are there other financial burdens on applicants that could be removed or retained?

Yes, it should be removed. If there must be a formal fee it should be around £11 which is currently the same price for ordering a copy of a birth, marriage or death certificate in the UK.

Should the requirement for a diagnosis of gender dysphoria be removed?

Yes, not all transgender people live with gender dysphoria and this requirement may unnecessarily medicalise their experiences.

Should there be changes to the requirement for individuals to have lived in their acquired gender for at least two years?

This requirement should not exist, they shouldn’t have to wait two years.

What is your view of the statutory declaration and should any changes have been made to it?

Marital status shouldn’t be relevant to their application (see next answer).

Does the spousal consent provision in the Act need reforming? If so, how? If it needs reforming or removal, is anything else needed to protect any rights of the spouse or civil partner?

It needs removing, spouses/civil partners should not have the power to prevent an individual from changing their gender marker by threatening divorce/annulment/separation.

Should the age limit at which people can apply for a Gender Recognition Certificate (GRC) be lowered?

Yes, it should be lowered to 16.

What impact will these proposed changes have on those people applying for a Gender Recognition Certificate, and on trans people more generally?

I don’t know as I am not transgender.

What else should the Government have included in its proposals, if anything?

Legal recognition of a gender other than male or female and the right for individuals to self-identify.

Does the Scottish Government’s proposed Bill offer a more suitable alternative to reforming the Gender Recognition Act 2004?

It does as it lowers the age to 16 and the time requirement for living in the acquired gender to three months. It also removes medical requirements and the gender recognition panel. However it could go further to remove spousal consent and explictly include a third gender other than male or female.

Why is the number of people applying for GRCs so low compared to the number of people identifying as transgender

I am not transgender, so I can’t write from personal experience, but I imagine it could be due to the long process, the medicalisation of them being transgender, and the lack of a third gender option.

Are there challenges in the way the Gender Recognition Act 2004 and the Equality Act 2010 interact? For example, in terms of the different language and terminology used across both pieces of legislation.

In the gender recognition act, the use of the phrase ‘other gender’ in section 1 part 1 could be changed to ‘different gender’.

Are the provisions in the Equality Act for the provision of single-sex and separate-sex spaces and facilities in some circumstances clear and useable for service providers and service users? If not, is reform or further guidance needed?

Transgender people should be allowed in spaces which correspond with the gender they identify with or where they feel safe and comfortable.

Does the Equality Act adequately protect trans people? If not, what reforms, if any, are needed

Organisers of competitive sports and service providers should not be allowed to discriminate against transgender people with the justification of ‘single-sex spaces’ (see above answer)

 

What issues do trans people have in accessing support services, including health and social care services, domestic violence and sexual violence services?

I am not transgender, so I don’t feel qualified to properly answer this question as I can’t write from personal experience.

 

Are legal reforms needed to better support the rights of gender-fluid and non-binary people? If so, how?

The gender recognition act needs to be updated to include the legal recognition of a gender other than male or female. Other countries such as Australia have allowed gender fluid and non-binary people to put ‘X’ or ‘other’ as a gender marker. The change to this law may also help individuals who are born intersex.

 

 

October 2020