Written evidence submitted by Taylor (GRA0077)

Written evidence in a personal capacity.

 

I’m submitting evidence as I am disgusted at how the GRA has been debated for so long, and yet so little was changed. I am an engineer who lost their job while transitioning.

 

The following evidence covers:

 

1)     I am the claimant in the first instance tribunal case of Taylor vs Jaguar Land Rover (1304471/2018). I currently use a private service called GenderGP. They provide me with bridging hormones (after an assessment) while I wait for the NHS. I have been referred to a GIC since around April 2018, and I am still waiting to get a first appointment at the GIC (as at Oct 2020). I am fortunate to be able to afford treatment. And I am grateful for all the hard work and support from GenderGP. A brilliant service that has supported many people.

 

2)     Every few months I go through further assessments before being supplied medication. It’s a difficult process. And as an engineer, I never wanted to diagnose myself. I wanted to go through a formal process so that I could be diagnosed and given permission almost to be myself. As I have progressed on my journey, I have accepted where I am, and I am proceeding with my transition. I don’t believe a medical diagnosis should be required for a GRC.

 

3)     I have changed my name, but not yet my gender. For many reasons such as waiting for the law to change, waiting for my discussions with the GIC to start and conclude, unsure around what it means day to day if I don’t change it (on my birth certificate), it is draining changing personal details elsewhere, and dealing with day to day life as a trans person and the harassment that entails. I don’t feel that I need a GRC to be complete. It doesn’t make me any more trans. If it wasn’t demedicalised, I don’t really know why I would bother to do it. Though it is confusing to know what to put my gender as when all my paperwork does not align with what my gender is.

 

4)     Living in the acquired gender for 2 years is quite outdated. I started wearing female clothing with my deadname for some time before I changed my name. People knew that I was trans. As I would tell them and wear visible items such as a rainbow lanyard so that people could put the pieces together without interacting with me. Awareness these days is a lot better than it was in the past. A declaration for changing gender would be enough.

 

5)     The spousal consent in the act is horrific. Creating a difficult situation in a relationship. People will have conversations and there are some good married role models these days and lots of information online. If people decide to separate, then they can.

 

6)     I think the age limit for a GRC should be lowered. If it could be changed earlier enough, then getting a passport and driving license would mean less paperwork. It also helps with validation, and possibly helping in different situations.

 

7)     I think the equality act should remove the single sex exemption. I could understand if in the beginning that buildings, organisations or people might not be ready and have a good reason. But after 10years, I am not aware of the exemption ever being used in the UK. Meaning that people have been sensible and included trans people. So, while I feel the exemption could go. I wonder if there needs to be more guidance around gendered spaces. I don’t mind gendered spaces and try to use the one that matches my gender expression. But other people seem to want to get rid of gendered spaces and I don’t see that these are trans people that are asking. So, some guidance (sourced from lgbt orgs) could help to resolve potential conflicts and help educate.

 

8)     The equality act does need updating to recognise nonbinary people. It has worked well in other countries. It would help to remove hostile debate around people’s lives. A phrase commonly used is that ‘I can bring my whole self to work’. And it feels that this thinking doesn’t currently work for non-binary trans people. With documentation that doesn’t match who they are. It would mean so much to change this.

 

 

 

October 2020