Written evidence submitted by Ms Robyn Alexandra Irvine (GRA0111)
re: Gender Recognition Act 2004
My aim is to provide you with information to help you to decide how to improve the GRA 2004 for the benefit of true Transgender people.
I have always desired to be female from the age of six and a half however that was in 1954. In those days such a thing was virtually impossible and the stigma was so great that life would have been intolerable. Over the intervening years I had to deny and bury my instincts but they kept returning. My early teenage years were difficult as I tried being male and “macho”. I wished I could just wake up as female. In my late teens I decided to join the Royal Navy to put my desires behind me, I tried soccer, boxing, rugby and athletics and was reasonably good at them all. During the 13 years I spent in the RN I could not reveal any tendency toward femininity such was the Armed Forces enforced opprobium to such desires, especially with regard to national security. This would have resulted in being kicked out of the RN in disgrace and with much publicity.
As a civilian I continued to work in the defence industry, again they were also hidebound by fears of security breaches. As you now know these fears were driven by the possibility of a person being blackmailed if discovered by the wrong people. This has now been alleviated by being able to be open and honest about ones gender (not sexuality). I finished working in the defence industry in 2016 and at last had the chance to tell my family about my desire (they had already decided that this was the case) apart from my estranged wife who, by her church upbringing would not accept this.
In 2017 I decided to transition physically to be what I had wanted to be for 64 years and felt that it was now possible to be that without the backlash previously feared soI consulted my GP. My is most supportive and helpful as well as prescribing hormone patches for me and I have had a preliminary telephone interview from the Leeds GIC in July 2018. The problem now is that I am older (72) and still waiting, not only for official recognition, but also for physical surgery. I have been on hormones for nearly 3 years, my body has changed dramatically, I have paid for laser hair removal treatment and deed poll change of name.
If I return to the bullet points, I believe that a lot of time is wasted mainly because of those that treat being transgender as just wearing the opposite gender’s clothes (transvestites) and therefore put a strain on the time and resources of the GIC.
I trust I have expressed my feelings and thoughts comprehensively however if there any questions or queries you have the please e-mail or telephone me at any time.
My best regards
Robyn A Irvine