Written evidence submitted by Thomas [GRA1968]

 

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

They fall short of being ‘complete removal of the GRC system and a move to 
full self-declaration of gender’, so they are woefully inadequate and not 
nearly kind 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?

Removed, obviously. Cis people don’t have to pay money to have their gender 
confirmed; why should trans people?


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

Obviously yes, it should


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

Obviously yes, this should be removed entirely as a requirement, why are we 
even still doing this? What reasoning is there behind this requirement other than a punitive, pathologising approach to transgender life and existence?


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

Cis people don’t have to justify their genitals to a panel of unaccountable, anonymous strangers - why do trans people? The only acceptable legal model for change of gender is free self-declaration: no charge, no 'real life experience', no GRC.


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?

It needs to be removed immediately. It is infantilising nonsense, an absolute abuser’s charter, and gives nothing of benefit at all.


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

The age limit should be at least as low as the youngest trans person. (Again: their cisgender peers do not have to provide quantitative sociological data on their own personal relationship to their gender - why are trans people unduly burdened?)


Better yet, it should be scrapped entirely.


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

What’s a ‘nominal amount of money’ when it’s at home? These proposed changes are palatable pap for cis people, not actually intended to change anything materially for trans people in the UK; the potential policy changes as set out are grudging and miniscule and basically just insulting. FULL SELF-DECLARATION NOW.


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

Completely removing the GRC, any ridiculous and unscientific demands for 'real life experience', and any charges for legal transition whatsoever. Also, the Government should have included a fully set-out plan for free self-declaration, analogous to the policies in place in Malta, Ireland etc.


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

The Scottish Government's proposed Bill does not include a complete dissolution of the pathologising GIC system and a route to full free self-declaration, so no: their proposed changes are insulting, insufficient, and discriminatory.


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

Because it’s expensive, invasive, and humiliating, and it also means you 
end up on an official government list of trans people, which is not a comforting thought given the current Equalities Minister.


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

Yes, given that the confusion between these two laws has been used as a 
cudgel against trans people.


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?

No they are not clear; yes they direly need reform.


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

No, of course it doesn’t? Why aren’t non-binary people mentioned at all? 
Why are there still provisions for coddling bigots? Why does it still act as if any 'reasonable exemptions' apply for excluding trans people from single-sex spaces or services under any circumstances? It is one thing to be forced to obtain a GRC at great personal cost; it is insult upon injury to be told that the literal certificate proclaiming one to be a 'real woman' or 'real man' actually does not apply.


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

I would say cisgender people are our biggest issue, mostly.


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

It would help if there was literally any legal recognition of the 
existence of non-binary people anywhere in the UK. That would be a good 
starting point.

 

November 2020