Written evidence submitted by Mx Jay Hooker (GRA1410)
Hello, my name is Jay. I’m a non binary person that has been on the gender clinic waiting list since April 2018. I fear that without these changes to the GRA trans people like myself will continue to significantly struggle navigating a world which, despite legal protections, still condemns us.
Honestly there is nothing more exhausting than having to justify your very existence to people who either couldn’t care less, or are specifically set out to do you harm. Things in my experience are significantly worse when discussing non binary trans people, than discussing binary trans people because the notion that gender is binary is so ingrained in western culture, where children are taught in primary school that there were only two true ways to exist: man and woman. As an aspiring scientist, and as someone who was raised in a post-colonial Arab culture, it saddens me to see that there is an active erasure of non binary people, from not only western cultures but from all cultures that once celebrated people who were not men, and who were neither women. There is much to be explored and learned about in terms of sex and gender both not being binary issues, I propose that people should have more access to resources describing and exploring LGBTQ+ cultures that are not our own.
It is fairly obvious to many of us that the fees are what is preventing us from applying for a GRC, although another factor may be that non binary people don’t have an option for themselves. Removal of fees for certification would not only give us a better chance at being ourselves, but also seriously aid people in being able to seek treatment, as they would be able to use their finances elsewhere. Furthermore, it would likely lighten the load on gender clinics and allow them to be more efficient in helping trans people with their needs, especially if certificates for Gender Dysphoria were made accessible through General Practitioners. Furthermore, it may be helpful to distinguish in medical documents whether a person is AFAB or AMAB (assigned male or female at birth) simply because trans men who still have uteruses no longer have access to pap smears, despite still being at risk of cervical cancer.
Anyways, the proposal for single sex spaces is inherently predatory against trans women, as it implies that they are not women. Simply put, trans women not only face misogyny just like any cisgender woman but they also face transmisogyny (discrimination for being a woman, as well as being transgender). Besides, how does Liz Truss propose we ‘prove’ that women in single sex spaces meet the criteria? Would it be nothing short of having to pull your pants down to prove you have a vagina? By that reasoning, some trans men would be allowed in, but not trans women. It seems to me that single sex spaces are less progressive than some people believe, and sets out to be more divisive than unifying unless transgender women are given access to these safe spaces too.