Written evidence submitted by Segregation Christopher Gutteridge (GRA0078)
Most of the arguments around gender expression come down to our cultural tradition of gender segregation of sport, prisons, toilets and changing rooms. This tradition has created a need for people to insist that other people in society fit in one and only one of the categories male & female.
I'm lucky enough to be entirely happy in my own skin and being considered male, but I've come to learn how complicated gender is for some other people. When I was a student in the mid 1990s I knew one transgender person. I have worked at the same university since then and these days there's far more rich and diverse gender expression amongst young people. My understanding is that when I was a student, people who were unhappy with their assigned gender were still around but mostly invisible and miserable..
A society should work for all members as well as we can, not just the majority. In this discussion, not everyone will be happy no matter what we do so the question to me is do we give priority to people who want to enforce their view of traditional gender segregation or two people who don't fit in the dated binary view of gender.
After much thought on this matter I am on the side of compassion and self expression so feel we have to evolve the attitudes, and adapt the traditions of our society to accommodate people who don't simply fit into the gender category they were assigned. It's not simple, but the law should reflect the reality of the people it protects, and trans and non binary people exist regardless of the law, so we should adapt our institutions to accommodate them along with the rest of us.