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  • SAYiT

SAYiT statement on Gender Recognition Act reform

Updated: Dec 24, 2022

Heather Paterson, SAYiT Chief Executive said: ‘It is exceptionally disappointing that in today’s government response to the Gender Recognition Act consultation, three years after announcing plans to improve legal recognition for trans people in England and Wales, and two years after the GRA consultation, there is an absence of any meaningful reform.”

“The 2018 GRA consultation showed that the public was overwhelmingly in favour of simplifying the process for trans people to gain legal recognition of their gender and today’s announcement completely disregards this.”

“While we welcome the small changes in digitising the application system and reducing some of the fees involved to address some of the financial and bureaucratic barriers to accessing a GRC, and that there has been no further roll-back in trans rights, this does not go anywhere near far enough to address the issues with the gatekeeping and medicalisation in the current system.”

“As a youth charity, the complete lack of recognition of under 18s is incredibly concerning to us. We have seen the impact that three years of public debates on the identities, existence, and access to services and support have had on the mental health and wellbeing of some of the young people we work with. We have also witnessed the huge rise in anti-trans hate crimes during the same period. To have seen this with no change at the end of it is incredibly disheartening.”

“The current legislation also dictates that legally recognised gender must be binary and permanently fixed, failing to acknowledge the existence of non-binary and gender-fluid people.”

“The system still relies on a decision made by a panel who you never actually meet, and is based on a system of enforced medicalisation, something which is opposed by the BMA who have called for transgender and nonbinary individuals to gain legal recognition of their gender by witnessed, sworn statement.”

“Rather than moving forward, ILGA‘s annual Rainbow Report shows us falling down the rankings in LGBT+ rights and equality in comparison to our European neighbours with one of their three key recommendations to address this being:

Developing a fair, transparent legal framework for legal gender recognition, based on a process of self-determination and free from abusive requirements (such as sterilisation, GID/medical diagnosis, or surgical/medical intervention). ILGA Europe Annual Review 2020

“We are very proud to be one of the 50+ organizations supporting the Together Campaign, which was launched this morning to ensure that everyone is able to live in safety and dignity and we will continue to support and speak up for the rights of all LGBT+ young people including trans and non-binary young people.”

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