Written evidence submitted by Watts [GRA1749]
The Government’s response to the GRA consultation:
Will the Government’s proposed changes meet its aim of making the process “kinder and more straight forward”?
Kinder and more straight forward would be to nulify the Gender recognition Act. Gender is a social construct and is based on sex-stereotyping. Children are confused that if they are gender-non-conforming they must be the opposite sex, and because of this, they are undergoing irreversible medicalisation, even at the loss of their parent/guardian’s consent, which is damaging families. This idea is advocated and perpetuated by the gender recognition act.
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?
This should be retained. It is a nominal fee for such a huge legal change.
Should the requirement for a diagnosis of gender dysphoria be removed?
If no diagnosis of gender dysphoria is necessary in order to change your sex on your birth certificate the government is then coding gender ideology into British law. The law would say a man is a woman if he says he is; that ‘gender identity’ overrides biological sex. This ‘idea’ that a human can change their biological sex, to that of the opposite, is harming children and should not be validated in law. Children who are gender non-conforming to stereotypical masculine or feminine behaviour believe themselves, and are being encouraged to believe, that they are the opposite sex. I am a woman who does not conform to feminine stereotypes and I would have identified as a boy if I were a child now. Instead of psychological services, such as counselling & psychotherapy. children are being medicalised with harmful and under-researched drugs. At the age of 12 I was put on medication, with similar harmful and under-researched drugs that was banned by the time I was 21. The effects I suffer and still suffer are immeasurable.
Should there be changes to the requirement for individuals to have lived in their acquired gender for at least two years?
There is no set way for a girl to live and no set way for a boy to live, unless they are conforming to gender stereotypes. Conforming to gender stereotypes of the opposite sex does not change the biological sex of a person. Along with the reinforcement of gender stereotypes, the idea of ‘gender identity’ has already led to the erosion of all sexual boundaries in schools and girls’ organisations, where boys may access female-only spaces without girls’ consent. ‘Living as a girl’ should not include access to areas separated on the basis of biological sex.
Should the age limit at which people can apply for a Gender Recognition Certificate (GRC) be lowered?
Lowering the age at which a person can apply for a GRC to 16 would legally change a teenage boy to ‘female’, and this will make it extremely difficult to maintain separate sex spaces for girls. Adolescents will be seriously impacted by reinforcing the message that sex is irrelevant, and it will ultimately impact on therapists and clinicians who may be unable to refuse hormones to a girl who is legally male. It also cements the experimental ‘affirmation’ approach towards children struggling with gender confusion.
There have already been significant concerns from professionals about the lack of adequate investigation before medical intervention and this would make the situation even worse. The lack of investigation and talking therapies will result, and has resulted in, more young people regretting their transition and left with lifelong consequences. The government should not be encouraging young people to believe that biological sex doesn’t mean anything. Children need to made explicitly aware, any medicalisation and physical changes they undertake will make them *appear* more of the opposite sex but it is not possible to biologically *change* sex.
What impact will these proposed changes have on those people applying for a Gender Recognition Certificate, and on trans people more generally?
It will make it easier for people to pass through the system in bad faith, if it is online.
What else should the Government have included in its proposals, if anything?
More questions how to support women
Wider issues concerning transgender equality and current legislation:
Are there challenges in the way the Gender Recognition Act 2004 and the Equality Act 2010 interact? For example, in terms of the different language and terminology used across both pieces of legislation.
The government must ensure that schools and service providers, organisations and businesses understand that ‘sex’ and ‘gender reassignment’ are two distinct protected characteristics and cannot be treated as the same thing. The wording of the Gender Recognition Act is confusing as a Gender Recognition Certificate gives the right to change the sex on your birth certificate, not your ‘gender’.
Sex based rights and protections for girls and women are being eroded because of the conflation of the terms ‘sex’ and ‘gender’. The government needs to provide clear guidance on the Equality Act: that ‘sex’ is a protected characteristic, it refers to biological sex (not ‘gender’) and it protects the rights of girls and women as the female sex.
Are legal reforms needed to better support the rights of gender-fluid and non-binary people? If so, how?
All humans are non-binary and no legal reforms are needed.