Following the statement made by Liz Trust, Minister for Women and Equalities to the UK Parliament’s Women and Equalities Select Committee we are incredibly concerned by the implied proposed restrictions of rights of trans and non-binary people and the potential impact on the physical and mental health and well being of a group that is already marginalised.
It’s been over two years since plans to reform the Act were announced and nearly a year and half since the Government’s GRA consultation closed, and we’re still waiting to hear about future plans.
We are adding our voice to echo the call for answers to important questions raised by Gay Star News:
1 What protections are they planning for ‘single-sex spaces’? Will trans, intersex and non-binary people be able to use bathrooms, changing rooms and other facilities freely?
2 What ‘checks and balances’ are they considering on trans adults’ lives? Will these represent additional restrictions on transgender people’s freedoms?
3 What restrictions will they apply to trans access to transition healthcare before the age of 18? Do they realise these medical interventions are often lifesaving for vulnerable teenagers?
Will they stop trans teens accessing hormone blockers? Will trans teens be able to access transition healthcare provided they do not take so-called ‘irreversible steps’?
4 Has the government considered the mental health impact of this policy change? And if so, who managed and advised on that assessment? Did they consider the dangers of self-harm, suicide and long term mental health trauma this may cause?
5 Is this policy a sign the government agrees with TERFs and the anti-trans LGB Alliance who represent fringe, transphobic views? Why has the government pursued this policy rather than one the vast majority of LGBT+ people would support?
We’ll continue to lobby regional MP’s to ensure that Gender Recognition Act Reform happens in a way that helps trans people, rather than hinders and we’ll continue to support trans people within our work and be there when we are needed.
6 The UN Human Rights Commissioner has instructed that states do not use the Coronavirus period to roll back LGBT+ rights. She singled out Hungary which has attacked trans people’s rights to legal transition during the pandemic for criticism. Therefore is now the right time to proceed with this policy?