Written evidence submitted by Ms Dawn Hayes [GRA1686]

 

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

It's a start. It's a small help in the long road to recognition. It is 
nowhere near everything we want or need. It it not enough.


Question: Should a fee for obtaining a Gender Recognition Certificate be 
removed or retained? Are there other financial burdens on applicants that 
could be removed or retained?

If a fee *must* be charged, it should be a administrative amount only. This 
is people's lives you are charging for


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

Yes, as not everyone gets or feels dysphoria. Many only know it due to 
gender euphoria (Joy at being recognised as the right gender) The diagnosis 
of dysphoria is overly clinical and is dependant on having a trans friendly 
GIC doctor and trans friendly GP, and any other factors. Any one of them 
could play the bad faith actor and block a diagnosis purely because they 
want to if ti suited their wants.


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

Yes. I am living and attempting to exist as a woman. I do not "pass" and I 
cannot do so publically for long as, given the climate of anti-trans 
activism that the Minister for Women, many forms of print media and 
several "celebrities" have supported, transpeople have a very hard time 
existing.
Who decides when the 2 years begins? Who decides what counts as "living as 
acquired gender"? My gender is not acquired. My gender is who I have always 
been secretly, unknowingly, hidden.


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

A Stat declaration is time, and effort to put on a show so a nameless panel 
can judge if you are "other gender" enough to be considered that gender 
forever.
These are people who do not know you, cannot know you, who cannot be 
identified, and can only go off paperwork to decide. Again, the chances of 
bias from them are high.


Question: 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?

Yes, yes they should. A trans person's life is their own, this veto could 
effective make a person beholden to another if the spouse is unsupportive. 
It's yet another person who needs to be on side before a trans person 
can "complete" and be recognised as who they are.


Question: Should the age limit at which people can apply for a GRC be 
lowered?

16 is the age of consent, so that would line up as the natural default age, 
however that also would require that laws be altered to grant ability to 
self determine with out overrule from parents/guardians.


Question: What impact will these changes have on those people applying for 
a GRC, and on trans people more generally?

They're a start. They might help in small amounts. Putting it all online, 
while making it more a data security issue would remove a lot of the 
in-person faceless panel fears, but turn them to entirely anonymous 
faceless person fears.
The fee reduction is helpful, make it a nominal value if anything is needed 
as trans folk are more likely to be unemaployed due to transitioning and 
transpohobic employers.
The new GIC will help as currently the NHS and the givernment are in 
serious breech of waiting list guidelines for first appointment and follow 
ups with transfolk, and that's even nowithstanding the wait list and hoop 
jumping required to get to medical and surgical intervention should that be 
wanted by the trans person


Question: What else should the Government have included in its proposals, 
if anything?

Yes, non binary folk need the same rights. They are caught in the same bind 
binary trans folk are and have even less recognition than binary transfolk 
do.
Self declarations would be a major step forward, however the legal backing 
on it needs to be made robost and able to withstand attack from anti-trans 
agitators and their supporters as they invariably will be attacked with the 
usual spurious claims, lies and misleads
The GICs need more resources, more capacity and less red tape to be able to 
do their job and keep Transfolk safe and healthy. It's either put 
*everything* on the GIC or take it all away, close them and have GPs take 
over the duty of care for trans folk as they *should* have the more 
personal contact with the person anyways.


Question: Does the Scottish Government’s proposed Bill offer a more 
suitable alternative to reforming the Gender Recognition Act 2004?

Yes. This is a significant improvement on the E&W method right now.
It is still not perfect and still requires proof from the trans person, but 
it is a start


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

Time, funds, the sheer amount of paperwork and hoops needed to jump 
through, the referrals from GP, and assessments, and then having to prove 
it all to a namless panel who do not know you at all.
The GRC as it stands is a excess of time and waste for a simple 
administrative change.


Question: Are there challenges in the way the Gender Recognition Act 2004 
and the Equality Act 2010 interact?

When trans people talk about the GRA we know what we are talking about. The 
right to be recognised as our gender and have that reflected in birth 
certificates.
When anyone who is not trans allied talks about it, they are likely 
conflating it with the Equality act which allows trans women to 
access "womens" spaces such as bathrooms because we are women, so we should 
be allowed.
Note, at this point, that trans men never factor into this argument as the 
anti-trans agistators never care about trans men as they still say they are 
women, while trans women are men according to them.
Anti-trans agitators want the eqaulity act repealed and are using the GRA 
reforms to do this as a stepping stone. They do not care about the GRA, 
they care about stopping trans folk from existing.


Question: Are the provisions in the Equality Act for the provision of 
single-sex and separate-sex spaces and facilities in some circumstances 
clear and useable for service providers and service users? If not, is 
reform or further guidance needed?

As they stand they are workable. Just about.
They need more clarity to explicitly state the ruling that trans women are 
allowed  access to these spaces and facilities. As mentioned on the 
previous question, the Eqaulity act is being used to discriminate against 
trans women when it was designed to include us.


Question: Does the Equality Act adequately protect trans people? If not, 
what reforms, if any, are needed?

The EA does not specifically include non binary folk. It needs reforms to 
expand and include them to give them the same protections the EA is meant 
to afford all trans folk.


Question: What issues do trans people have in accessing support services, 
including health and social care services, domestic violence and sexual 
violence services?

DV and SV services are very gender specific, which means that anti-trans 
agitators like to shout that trans women should not have access to them as 
they consider trans women to be men.
Similarly for other services, if the service provider is not trans friendly 
then they can and will discriminate against trans folk and mis gender us 
and place us in with the wrong gender grouping.


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

Currently, there is very little in the way of ruling or legal cover for GF 
and NB people. They count under the overall trans umbrella and so the 
protections and right needed by trans folk are needed by them too, but in a 
way more specific and explicit to them so they get the rights they deserve 
too.
 

November 2020