The Gender Recognition Act 2004 governs how people from our trans communities can legally recognise their gender identity. Being able to do this is critical to living freely and authentically.
It is currently a long, expensive and dehumanising process. It requires evidence from two medical professionals, a detailed psychiatric assessment and a medical diagnosis of gender dysphoria (which has now been removed from the WHO list of mental health disorders), evidence of living in authentic gender for two years and evidence of intention to continue doing so. This intrusive evidence and professional testimony is then considered by a Gender Recognition Panel (who have never met the individual concerned) to make a final judgement. It is costly, inaccessible and relies heavily on gender stereotypes.
In 2018 a review of the Gender Recogntion Act was opened to consider reforms, with the aim of making the process more accessible, less reliant on medical examination and less expensive. 70% of respondents to the GRA consultation support a fairer process for gender recognition certificate applications. Despite this overwhelming public support, a proposed amendment to the act will impact on self identification for young people identifying as trans and change the rules around the use of single sex spaces. This would adversely affect trans communities and all who do not conform to traditional gender stereotypes.
As a college we are committed to being an inclusive environment for all. We support our trans communities and urge the government to reconsider the impact of the proposed amendments. We would like to offer reassurance to our students and staff that we will continue to make every effort to ensure we provide protected spaces for our trans communities.
If you would like to share your voice, we recommend you to write to your local MP.