Written evidence submitted Dr Thomas James Sherwood [GRA1321]


The Government’s response to the GRA consultation:



Written evidence submitted Dr Thomas James Sherwood [GRA1321]


          Will the Government’s proposed changes meet its aim of making the process “kinder and more straight forward”?

I do not believe it will be kinder or more straight forward.  Some young people have transitioned to the opposite sex but later have come to regret what they did.  Is making it easier to transition kinder? People who are questioning their sexuality should be helped to talk through the issues they are grappling with and not be encouraged to transition quickly.

          Should the requirement for a diagnosis of gender dysphoria be removed? 

Definitely not.  Removing any diagnosis means that wrong peer pressures will have even more influence with many more regretting their decision later in life.  Being able to talk through the issues with people who understand the implications is very important.

          Should there be changes to the requirement for individuals to have lived in their acquired gender for at least two years?

No. Changing gender should not be entered quickly.  I believe that many people who think to try out living in their acquired gender later learn that actually they do not really want to change. 

          What is your view of the statutory declaration and should any changes have been made to it? 

A statuary declaration must be maintained.  If someone wants to change their gender, they should have to make a public declaration that they wish to change.  Being able to change gender without any declaration is opening the door to people flipping between genders as they want.  There should be a clear declaration with the proviso that if they later think they have made a mistake they can publicly declare that they are returning to their original gender.  However, there should be a limit of only two opportunities to change gender. 

          Does the spousal consent provision in the Act need reforming? If so, how? If it needs reforming or removal, is anything else needed to protect any rights of the spouse or civil partner?

No.  Marriage is a commitment of two people to one another. They are making promises to one another.  To change gender without the consent of the spouse is breaking those promises and forcing the spouse into a situation they did not agree with.  It would be breaking the marriage promises.

          Should the age limit at which people can apply for a Gender Recognition Certificate (GRC) be lowered?

No.  Young people are often under pressure to go along with their peers and agree to something they may later regret.  I think that understanding our gender is something that we really only grasp as we get older.  Why would we limit people from purchasing cigarettes or alcohol until they are 18 and yet allow them age to make such a big and life altering decision to change their gender at a younger age?



Written evidence submitted Dr Thomas James Sherwood [GRA1321]




Wider issues concerning transgender equality and current legislation:



Written evidence submitted Dr Thomas James Sherwood [GRA1321]



          Why is the number of people applying for GRCs so low compared to the number of people identifying as transgender?

I believe peer pressure can be significant, wanting to follow their friends or be ‘radical’.  Also, difficult living situations can encourage people into looking for alternative ways of living such as changing sex but which does not deal with the issues.

          Are legal reforms needed to better support the rights of gender-fluid and non-binary people? If so, how?

No.  Biologically we are either male or female.  There are very very few people who have a biological mix-upAlso, our society is based on male and female.  If we start to have a variety of genders, we will have much confusion and a breakdown in society.


November 2020