Written evidence submitted by Aiden Ferguson [GRA1781]
I am a non-binary person who transitioned 7 years ago, living in Cambridge, UK.
Whilst I welcome the proposed changes to reduce the fee for obtaining a gender recognition certificate and opening 3 new clinics, the proposed changes do not go nearly far enough.
I am a non-binary individual and I’m currently unable to obtain a gender recognition certificate as a non-binary person. This not only means that I feel invalidated but also that I would be forced to marry in my assigned gender. The invalidation that I feel as a result of not being able to obtain a gender recognition certificate is having a hugely detrimental impact on my mental health.
Furthermore it is important to remove the requirement for a medical diagnosis of gender dysphoria since not all trans people meet the criteria for a diagnosis or are able to obtain one in an appropriate timescale. The British Medical Association have called for the removal of the requirement for a diagnosis. Furthermore the Office for the High Commissioner for Human Rights has stated that it is best practice to allow transgender people self-determination when it comes to obtaining legal recognition.
Furthermore it is important to lower the age at which a gender recognition certificate can be obtained because transgender children are more reliant on their birth certificate to prove identity then adults and a gender recognition certificate is necessary to obtain a birth certificate in the correct gender.
The people claiming that allowing self-determination for transgender people will impact negatively on cisgender people, especially women, are ignoring the evidence and doing so in bad faith. You do not need a gender recognition certificate to access the single sex spaces of your choice, And so allowing self determination will have no impact on access to women’s spaces.
In the 3 years since the government first launched its consultation, waiting lists for gender identity clinics have grown longer than ever leading to immense distress for trans people unable to access appropriate Healthcare. Furthermore transphobic hate crime has trebled and the relentless media debate around our rights and existence grows worse than ever. I call on the government to take a firm stand against transphobia.