Written evidence submitted by Miss Kali-Ann Gills (GRA0081)
Having recently been made aware of the refusal to make any meaningful reforms to the Gender recognition act I have been left in a state of complete shock and bewilderment.
I am a Transgender woman and have been undergoing treatment at the Nottingham Centre for Transgender Health for the past four years. I did consider applying to obtain a Gender Recognition Certificate however, I found the whole prospect of being expected to ‘prove’ my gender to be both cruel and humiliating; therefore I decided not to do so. Unfortunately this has had a negative effect on my life. I have been in a long term relationship and have been engaged for over two years now. Although I live and work in my preferred gender permanently and engage socially as female daily I am not legally allowed to marry my fiance as a woman. I am allowed to enter into a same sex marriage however, this would in essence refuse to acknowledge me as a woman. I am therefore left in a perpetual state of limbo neither one gender or the other, physically female yet, legally male, all this decision has achieved is to leave me still feeling a freak.
To be told that I cannot walk up the aisle with the man I love as any other woman does is inhumane. I had no control over how I was born however, it seems that I am continually penalised for an accident of nature. No Trans person chooses this indeed no sane person would consciously choose to be Transgender it is as close to hell on earth as it is possible to get.
I have read and completely understood concerns over some predatory males filling in a simple form stating they are female in order to gain access to female only spaces however, surely that danger is easily mitigated by insisting that any applicant must have been undergoing treatment at a recognised Gender clinic for a minimum of three years and have been having hormone treatment for a similar period and have been diagnosed as being Transgender. Indeed I do not believe that any predatory male or potential rapist would be particularly happy growing breasts etc. Also any person attempting to access a clinic with less than honourable motives would very quickly be identified. To simply remove the opportunity for ALL genuine Transgender people to amend their birth certificate simply and with as little trauma as possible cannot be right.
As it is the decision to award or refuse a certificate is in the hands of a panel who have never met the applicant nor ever will. This is completely nonsensical a far more robust, logical and sympathetic process would be to leave the decision to the Gender clinic! I ask, who would be better placed to assess the applicants suitability?
Also to be referred for reassignment surgery itself requires the patient lives as their preferred gender for a minimum of two years. The surgery for MTF itself is brutal and takes many months to recover fully from therefore how can anyone with a grasp of reality suggest that the Transgender women undergoing this are not serious? Surely then award the certificate once surgery is completed! Also for someone to suggest that I or any other Transgender woman goes through what we do so that we can more easily do disgusting things to other women is insulting; I am a woman and I am attracted to men.
So the situation is this, I am told you look like a woman, you move, talk and dress like a woman, you work as a woman but, unless I behave like a performing seal for a faceless audience and somehow convince them I will never be legally regarded as a woman!
In light of the above my I respectfully suggest the following-
1 – Allow the Gender clinic treating the Transgender person make the decision on whether or not to award a Gender recognition certificate.
2- If this is not acceptable award the certificate at the point reassignment surgery is completed.
The above options would alleviate most if not all concerns.
The effects of three years or more of hormone treatment is irreversible these include, breast development, body changes, genital shrinkage, impotence and sterilisation of the patient. Reassignment surgery is life changing to say the least. I believe the committee would agree that no predatory male or potential rapist would be prepared to undergo either!
The rights and safety of women must be protected at all times and any decisions taken must reflect this however, if by protecting the rights of one section of society it destroys the rights of another it damages all.
I do not ask to be treated differently or preferentially to anyone else, all I ask is to be treated in the same way as any other woman, to hold my head up, marry the man I love and take my place in society as the woman I am; not the freak the Governments decision has made me feel.