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According to the Government, transgender people in the UK, who want to legally change their legal sex are about to find the process “kinder” and more straight forward. The government says it has changed elements of the GRA (Gender Recognition Act), that trans people themselves had raised as concerns about.

The consultation was answered by 108,000 people, 7000 of whom identify a transgender. Of those who had completed their transition, around 2 in 5 said that they had a Gender Recognition Certificate, a higher proportion than is often believed. The survey then asked those who had not applied what had prevented them from doing so. They were able to choose as many reasons as they wanted.  

Thirty-eight per cent of respondents said the process was “too bureaucratic” so the process will now be put online. Thirty-Four percentage that the process was too expensive and to address this the government will decrease the cost of obtaining a certificate from £140 to just what it called a “nominal amount”.

Three new gender clinics

The government have also stated that they will open three more gender clinics, a process that will apparently cut the waiting list by around 1600 people.

“The full benefit of the increases in clinical capacity that we’ve been able to secure will lead to greater patient choice, shorter waiting times, better geographical coverage and easier access.  It will also make it easier to fulfil the medical requirements of obtaining a GRC”.

According to the Minister for Women and Equalities Liz Truss MP, the UK Government said,

“Britain leads the world as a country where everybody is able to lead their life freely and treated with respect and that, for many years, transgender people have been widely accepted in British society; able to use facilities of their chosen gender; and able to participate fully in modern life.    

“At the heart of this is the principle of individual liberty. Our philosophy is that a person’s character, your ideas, and your work ethic trumps the colour of your skin or your biological sex. We firmly believe that neither biology nor gender is destiny

“The Equality Act 2010 clearly protects transgender people from discrimination. The same act allows service providers to restrict access to single sex spaces on the basis of biological sex if there is a clear justification”.

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“Missed opportunities”

A spokesperson for Amnesty International said that it was disappointed that the government had not taken the steps to demedicalise the process of changing your legal sex.

Amnesty International UK, Liberty and Human Rights Watch released a co-statement, saying,

“It’s hugely disappointing that the Government has missed this vital opportunity to update the process for legal gender recognition so it meets human rights standards.

“Research has found that medical barriers to gender recognition for trans people are unnecessarily intrusive and can harm their physical and mental health. With medical requirements still in place, trans people will continue to be forced through harmful processes to have their gender legally recognised.  

“After a three-year wait, we’re presented with a few administrative changes, which, whilst a step in the right direction, only scratch the surface of what we need to ensure all trans and non-binary people can live equally, freely and fully.”

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