Written evidence submitted by Alex Miller [GRA1700]
For the purpose of presenting evidence to changes that may affect the GENDER RECOGNITION ACT 2004 (GRA). I am a transgender person born in UK. I currently reside abroad as an international student at a University in the USA. I came out as trans in 2014 – age 14 and because of the long wait for NHS services (Gender Identity Development Services), my life was at risk due to lack of medical care and support. During the wait, I developed an eating disorder (did not want to grow / produce hormones naturally). The moment I received the appropriate and considerate medical interventions, I was able to resume a healthy lifestyle and transition in a considerate and effective manner.
In 2015 I moved to USA with my family for appropriate counseling and medical intervention which included hormone blockers and hormone replacement medicine. I changed my name in 2014 and relevant identification documents to match my gender identity (PASSPORTS DRIVER LICENSE MEDICAL RECORDS ETC) At age 20 I travelled to Thailand for Sex Confirmation Surgery. So, for all intents and purposes, I pass as a trans woman and live in stealth. All of this was legal and relatively simple process.
Now, at age 22, I have found that to change my birth certificate I need to acquire a Gender Recognition Certificate (GRC). To obtain the GRC, I have contacted the help line and was told only specific medical practitioners / doctors in UK can qualify me for this process (T493 Lists of Specialists in the Field of Gender Dysphoria). However, I reside outside the UK – so not possible to attend these UK doctors used by the GRC/GRA process. To go through the “overseas application” process would be far more complicated and expensive as it would require me to pay huge sums of money (all medical care in USA is paid by patient or health insurance which is very expensive). And would ‘OUT’ me unnecessarily to anyone involved in the process. The overseas process is not feasible, and the standard route is complex and awkward for UK citizens who reside outside the UK.
So technically, I have lived in my gender for six years, transitioned legally, socially, and physical, and have hit a wall because of the GRC process – it is not practical for UK Citizens who live work and study abroad. Please simplify the process because the current GRA/ GRC system is intrusive, expensive, and unfair.