Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust [GRA1629]

 

Reform of the Gender Recognition Act - Call for evidence

The Government’s response to the GRA consultation:

Is there a way to help people align all legal paperwork in their name so that it all identifies the person in the gender they identify with? This would be kind and would make this very intimate and significant life experience far easier to navigate for people seeking to change their gender legally.

This should be free? What is a nominal amount? This does not appear to be straightforward. If there are additional fees incurred for other necessary paperwork changes it would be kinder to consider them all together rather than individually. We would ask whether one fee cover them all. One area to consider might be whether, in terms of triggering responses from a system, transitioning should be treated the same as changing your name on legal paperwork (taking care to protect anonymity and not out someone)?

Yes, the requirement for a diagnosis of gender dysphoria should be removed

Yes. This requirement can have dire consequences for some people and does not make complete sense when you consider that not all people who apply for a gender recognition certificate have lived the same life or have the same hopes and dreams for the future. This part of the process must be reconsidered with the intention of including an individual's particular circumstances in the final decision. So much depends on getting this right.

In terms of an age reduction - the criteria should be adapted to encompass a range of factors; it should be about the individual rather than their age. Numerous people could be involved and the establishment of an ethical decision making body populated by different experts from various professional bodies could be consulted. This should include people with lived experience of applying for a gender recognition certificate

Some legal support for trans and non-binary people to use the toilets of their choosing without fear of reprisals. This subject causes so much pain and upset to so many people, not just trans people, given the fact that at some point or another it will impact on absolutely everybody it seems important to single it out for further attention via this call for evidence

 

Wider issues concerning transgender equality and current legislation:

It would be helpful if the guidance for the NHS made it easier for wards to make decisions around whether to have single sex or mixed wards. At the moment the guidance steers you towards single sex wards but we think that the guidance should propose a mixture of wards as the optimal arrangement. The impact of these decisions has ripples across local communities and societies at large so it is important that there is space in any guidance for Trust's to acknowledge local differences and preferences.

Organisations need to be supported to have a stronger stance in terms of discriminatory behaviour towards trans and non-binary people. The interaction between these things and other protected characteristics often is often challenging to manage and the more positive experience seems to fall on the side of the person/persons representing the other protected characteristics (i.e. religious beliefs, women's rights, LGB inclusion) which can mean that an already ostracised group of people have nowhere safe to turn. Because trans people tend to always be in such a minority they are always having to shout louder to be heard and have to take bigger risks at a very personal level. Also, because there are so few trans people in any one place/workplace at any one time their experiences and the experience they might be describing will not be relatable for many people, it is therefore likely that they find it harder to be understood or to find acceptance and understanding. Protection under the law will only take us so far, education is essential too. The unknown (ignorance) leads to so much harm - can we find a way to educate people through this review work too?

November 2020