Written evidence submitted by Ms S Smith [GRA1314]


I do not believe the requirement of a diagnosis for gender dysphoria should be removed, nor should the requirement to live as your chosen gender for two years be changed.  These are my reasons.


It has worked well for many years and has been sufficient for many Trans women to live the lives they choose.  To do away with the necessary checks, to assume the opposite sex by just saying you are; opens the process up to those that overtime may regret their decision.  It may attract those that, given time (as the two year we have now gives) may change their minds.  Sadly it also allows those who would use it for unethical reasons and abuse it to do so.


This is particularly important when it comes to areas exclusively for single sexes, these include prisons and refuges.  We should be looking at places specifically for Trans people, not co-opting them into the places they choose.


I have seen abuse, and I have no doubt that if a man wants to kill a women, then assuming you are a woman to access her in a shelter, is something he may do.  In prisons, women are vulnerable to abuse already and to put Trans women among them, with working male genitalia makes is ridiculous.


Finally I do not believe the age limit at which people can apply for a GRC should be lowered to 16; 


For many reasons we do not allow under 18’s to drive cars, rent properties, receive tattoo’s or have cosmetic surgery.  These are all potentially life-changing decisions and we have a safe guard in place to protect our children.  We know children mature at different rates but by 18 we hope they have enough life experience to make good choices.  Those two years between 16 and 18 are not much, and not that long to wait.  If someone is sure at 16, then they will remain sure at 18, and Trans organisations should put in place facilities that will help those under 18 to wait until the law allows them to make the necessary arrangements.


We should also be looking at why our young people feel there are ways for boys to behave and ways for girls to behave.  Our girls are suffering under a belief that to be a women means not being able to access science or play sports or have short hair.  Our boys are suffering because they feel it is wrong for them to want to nurture children or dance or even wear what they want.  These are the factors that need looking, not a change in the law to encourage them.


November 2020